Panchamasali Lingayats hold protest march in Belagavi, demand 15% reservation
The Panchamasali Lingayats constitute about 60% of the Lingayat population in Karnataka.
Members of the Panchamasali Lingayats, a prominent sub-sect of the dominant Lingayat community in Karnataka, on Thursday protested in Belagavi demanding reservation in education, and government jobs, NDTV reported.
The community has been demanding a 15% reservation given to Other Backward Castes in the state instead of a separate 5% quota allotted to Lingayats.
The Panchamasali Lingayats constitute about 60% of the Lingayat population in Karnataka, according to NDTV. They claim they have been under-represented in politics, despite forming a larger chunk of the Lingayat community.
The protest march to Belagavi, where the winter session of the Karnataka Assembly is in progress, had begun on Tuesday, according to The Indian Express. It is led by seer Jaya Mruthyunjay Swamy.
State Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said that the Panchamasali Lingayats are protesting peacefully.
“I am sure that they won’t barge into Vidhana Soudha,” Jnanendra said, according to ANI. “They have been given a place and accordingly we have made the police deployment and arrangements.”
On Wednesday, Swamy said that the community will lay a siege at the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha if their demands are not met.
“We will celebrate if there is good news,” he said, according to The Indian Express. “Former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had given us an assurance. If the assurance is not kept by Basavaraj Bommai there could be repercussions in the polls.”
Meanwhile, Bommai said that he is waiting for a report by the Karnataka Permanent Backward Classes Commission. “I have been asking for their report and as soon as it is available we will take a decision,” he said.