Community seers led by Jaya Mrityunjaya Swamiji have now given Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa a new deadline of March 4 to fulfil their demand.

Quota row Panchamasali showcase their strength hold huge rally in Bengaluru
news Politics Sunday, February 21, 2021 - 19:51

In a big show of strength, the Panchamasali sub-sect of the Lingayat community organised a mega rally on Sunday at Bengaluru’s Palace Grounds. Led by seers and sitting ministers of the government, the community is demanding  that their existing reservation category be changed from 3B to 2A. The crowd moving into the venue put normal traffic movement out of gear as hundreds of community members made their way into the venue coming from 18 districts of the state. Sunday’s rally also brings an end to the 465 km march from Kudalasangama mutt in Bagalkot district to the state capital. 

Community seers led by Jaya Mrityunjaya Swamiji have now given Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa a new deadline of March 4 to fulfil their demand.

Some supporters had also decided to lay siege to the Vidhana Soudha. However they were stopped in their way by the police who convinced the community leaders to shift their protest site to Freedom Park.

Ministers like CC Patil, Murgesh Nirani and senior MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal addressed the rally along with Congress leader Vijayanand Kashappanavar, who is incidentally the president of Panchamasali Mahasabha. Jaya Mrityunjaya Swamiji earlier this month had threatened to camp at the Vidhana Soudha until their demand is met. 

Some political experts have suggested that more than a social issue this is more of a political ploy to isolate BS Yediyurappa who was until now the undisputed leader of the entire Lingayat community. Mahadav Prakash, who was until recently the media advisor to CM had recently told TNM that the present 5% quota which they get under 3B category will be more than what they will get under 2A category as the 15% quota will be again subdivided by 101 castes--which will ultimately mean that they will get 2-3%.

He had observed that this movement was a bid to boost the political clout of the Panchamsalis as they feel that they are underrepresented even though they are the largest sect among Lingayats. Prakash had cited the example of even out of eight Lingayat CMs are Banajiga (BS Yediyurappa belongs to this community).

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