Karnataka Congress Ministers, MLAs oppose caste census report

Veteran Congress leader and President of Veerashaiva-Lingayat Mahasabha, Shamanur Shivashankarappa, termed the caste census as unscientific.
File image of Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah
File image of Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah
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 A section of Karnataka Congress leaders have objected to the acceptance of the controversial Socio-Economic and Educational Survey Report, also known as the caste census report, by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday, February 29.

Veteran Congress leader and President of Veerashaiva-Lingayat Mahasabha, Shamanur Shivashankarappa, termed the caste census as unscientific.

“There are no changes in it. The community will not accept the report prepared without carrying out a door-to-door survey. The memorandum in this regard had been submitted twice,” he said.

Congress MLA from Dharwad, Vinay Kulkarni, said, "I oppose the report, it is unscientific. The Lingayat and Vokkaliga communities are opposing it for the same reason. There is an attempt to break the Lingayat community. There are more than 100 sub-castes within the Lingayat community, which are forced to forgo their identity to avail the benefits under the present circumstances. A letter has been submitted in this regard to the government.”

“It appears to be a big conspiracy. There is no opposition to reservation provided to other communities. Few communities are affected by the unscientific report,” he added.

According to the Minister for Large and Medium Industries, M.B. Patil, it should be ensured that the Lingayat community doesn't face injustice.

Minister for Women and Child Welfare, Lakshmi Hebbalkar, said that there are flaws in the report.

"Door-to-door survey was not conducted. They didn't go to my relatives' houses for data collection. There are confusions in the caste census. However, politics should not be played over the caste census, and all communities should get equal opportunities,” she said.

Congress MLA Vijayanand Kashappanavar said that he is not satisfied with the caste census report.

“It is an unscientific report. We will convince CM Siddaramaiah,” he said.

Minister for RDPR, IT and BT, Priyank Kharge, however, claimed that there is no opposition to the caste census report.

“People have objections to the data, not the report. We will take them into confidence. They are asking for scientific changes. Let’s see the report first. All the leaders have agreed that facilities should be distributed as per the population," Kharge said.

Earlier, alleged leaked information from the report had suggested that the caste census categorises Scheduled Caste as the biggest community with 1.08 crore population, followed by Muslims with 70 lakh population.

The Lingayats constitute the third largest group with 65 lakh population, followed by Vokkaligas at 60 lakh. The Kuruba community is identified as the most backward community, while ST population in the state was pegged at 45 lakh.

The leaked data created a huge controversy in the state.

Lingayats and Vokkaligas are considered first and second in terms of population in Karnataka till date.

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