After Development Authority for Marathas,politically influential Lingayats raise pitch

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Bengaluru, Nov 16 (PTI) A group of ministers and Lingayat MLAs led by Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi pushed for the establishment of a Veera Shaiva-Lingayat Development Corporation (VLDC) on Monday.

The move came after the Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa's recent announcement to set up the Maratha Development Authority (MDA).

The decision to set up the MDA is seen in sections of political circle as a means to woo the sizeable Maratha populace in Basava Kalyan Assembly constituency in Bidar district bordering Maharashtra.

The assembly bypoll is due in Basava Kalyan after the sitting Congress MLA B Narayan Rao died of COVID-19 in Bengaluru recently.

Savadi along with ministers V Somanna and B C Patil and a few BJP MLAs from the politically-influential Veerashaiva Lingayat community called on Yediyurappa, who also belongs to the community, and put forth the demand for setting up the VLDC.

Later speaking to reporters, Savadi said there has been a long pending demand for a VLDC by various people including many seers.

'Today we put forth this demand before the Chief Minister to set up VLDC.He sought time to mull over the demand,' he said.

Patil said the community with a 17 per cent population in Karnataka had made a significant contribution in the State.

Patil said that the community has a substantial number of poor people, who eke out a living by working as labourers.

For their benefit the VLDC should be set up, he added.

The Veera Shaiva Youth Wing too wrote to the Chief Minister demanding setting up of VLDC.

The Congress, however, disagreed with the demand for a VLDC, saying that it will not serve any purpose.

Instead, there should be reservation for the Veerashaiva Lingayats in education and government jobs.

The Congress MLA and former minister M B Patil, who had spearheaded the campaign for separate religion status to the Veerashaiva Lingayat sect, said the VLDC will not serve any purpose.

Instead, he demanded a 16 to 18 per cent reservation based on the Lingayat population in the state.

In a letter to the Chief Minister on Monday, M B Patil said the Lingayats, numbering more than one crore, constitute about 16 to 18 per cent of the state population.

The existing reservation serves no purpose for them.

He recommended reservations to Veerashaiva Lingayats on the lines of quota given to Marathas in Maharashtra in education, jobs and scholarships.

'Earmarking a grant of Rs 100 crore or Rs 200 crore will not help.It will only serve as a consolation,' M B Patil wrote.PTI GMS RS BN WELCOME BN WELCOME