Influential Vokkaliga seer says K’taka govt should not accept caste census report
Bengaluru: The acceptance of the caste census report is proving to be problematic for Karnataka’s Congress government. One of the most influential Vokkaliga seers, Nirmalanandanatha Swamiji, reiterated on Friday that the caste census report should not be accepted.
The seer said that the government must rethink about accepting the report. The present caste census is defective and the population census must be redone. The report is half-baked and unscientific. It is not complete and the communities will face injustice.
Former minister K.S. Eshwarappa, slamming the Congress government over the caste census issue, maintained that the report deserves to be thrown into the fire.
“The Congress government should make a statement on whether they are releasing the caste census report. Nirmalanandanatha Swamiji had stated that the report is unscientific. There is no signature of the member secretary in the report and it won’t stand in the court even for a day,” he stated.
They (Congress leaders) do not have any intention of helping the people. With this report, they want to get votes. This was done by the BJP government and then Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa released funds. By committing fraud, Siddaramaiah wants to become the leader of the backwards, he charged.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said at the beginning of October that the Backward Classes Commission has been asked to submit the caste census report to the state government. “Once the report is submitted, it will be verified,” he said.
“The then secretary to the government did not put his signature on the report. It will now have to be submitted after getting the signature of the secretary,” he added.
Siddaramaiah said that he had initially ordered the socio-economic survey. Then Kantharaju was the president of the Backward Committees Commission. “The report was not fully prepared in my previous tenure. Then Kumaraswamy became the CM under the coalition government and the Commission was headed by MLA Puttaranga Setty. The report was not taken,” he said. The BJP had appointed Jayaprakash Hegde to the Commission. He had been asked to submit the report, but he had not given it, Siddaramaiah said.
The socio-economic survey, popularly known as the caste census, was conducted in Karnataka in 2015 by the Karnataka State Backward Classes Commission headed by H. Kantharaju. Though Siddaramaiah ordered the caste census, he had to bend before the leaders of the Vokkaliga and Lingayat communities of his party who insisted on not accepting the report.
Sources said the report stated that the SC and ST groups form the majority in the state, followed by Muslims.
The Lingayats, considered to be the majority population, were shown as the third largest group, while the Vokkaligas, believed to be in second position, were shown in the fourth position, sources said.
This created a stir in the state, triggering a huge controversy as the Muslim community was shown as having the second-highest population in Karnataka.