Yatanal counters Yediyurappa, demands reservation for Kurubas, Lingayats
Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and his bitter critic within the ruling BJP, Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, got engaged in a heated debate on Friday over whether Panchamasali Lingayats be given reservation under the 2A category.
Panchamasali Lingayat is a sub-section of the Lingayat community, to which Yatnal belongs.
This incident took place when Yediyurappa was addressing the debate on the Governor’s speech in the state Assembly. Yatnal suddenly got up and demanded Speaker Vishweshwara Hegde Kaageri to allocate him time to speak on the ongoing ‘padayataras’ by two powerful communities – Kurubas and Panchamsali – which have been demanding reservation for them.
The Speaker tried to play down the issue by asking Yatnal not to raise the ‘issue’ at this juncture as Yediyurappa was speaking. “This is not the time to raise this issue,” Kaageri said.
Enraged over this, Yatnal retorted that when will members like him get a chance to speak on issues they want to raise.
“This is a platform to raise such issues. I want Chief Minister Yediyurappa to clarify his government’s stand on reservation to these communities, whose seers along with several supporters have been taking out padayatras for the last 20 days,” he said.
Hearing this, Yediyurappa shot back and asserted that he cannot assure anything on the floor of the House, as he did not have the powers to do so.
“If you (Yatnal) think you have the power, take all MPs with you and meet our party high command, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, to get reservation for Panchamsali Lingayats,” he said.
Continuing further, Yediyurappa said that the BJP is not a regional party, but a national party. “We have a forum where such matters are discussed and amicable solutions are arrived at, but not here (on floor of the House),” he said.
Hearing this, Yatnal further said that being the CM, Yediyurappa cannot wash off his hands from the matter like this, and the least he could do is to recommend the issue to the Union government. “I can not accept such a response from the CM, who heads our state,” he said.
The seers belonging to the Panchamasali sub-sect are holding a padayatra for the last three weeks, and are expected to reach Bengaluru by February 15.
As part of their agitation, the protesters burnt tyres on the Bengaluru-Chitradurga highway on Friday.
Panchamsali Lingayt is a sub-sect of the Lingayat community, which forms the largest chunk of the Lingayat community. Members of this community have been demanding reservation under the 2A category, which could give them nearly 15 per cent quota in education and jobs. Currently, Panchamshalis are in the 3B category, which has only 5 per cent reservation.