In his Independence Day speech, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa addressed the growing demands for reservation for locals in jobs, and assured a lion’s share of jobs for Kannadigas in Karnataka.
"There has been an increasing clamour that the employment representation of Kannadigas in jobs in Karnataka is on a decline. It is our established and stated stand that Kannadigas must get a lion's share in jobs available in Karnataka," Yediyurappa said.
He added, "On this occasion, I would like to reiterate and declare that this government respects the sentiments of the people of this land. We are committed to ensuring that the self-respect and job opportunities of Kannadigas are never compromised or come under threat."
In this regard, he also promised to come out with industry policy which will attract investment in tier-II and tier-III cities in the state.
The CM’s statements came after pro-Kannada organisations under the banner of ‘Karnataka Jobs for Kannadigas’ held a 24-hour satyagraha demanding a 100% reservation in jobs in the state.
The agitators are demanding a policy similar to the one recently passed by Andhra Pradesh, wherein 75% jobs are reserved for locals in industrial units as well as factories established under public-private partnership mode. Under this policy, companies are also mandated to train locals with the support state government’s support if they are unable to source skilled workers locally. In enacting the policy in July 2019, Andhra Pradesh became the first Indian state to pass such a law.
Earlier in February, the then Karnataka government led by HD Kumaraswamy had announced that they will introduce a policy where Kannadigas will be given 100% reservation in Group C and D jobs in private companies. This was based in part on the Sarojini Mahishi Committee report’s recommendations. The 1986 report suggested reservations for Kannadigas in government jobs, public sector units, and even in the private sector.