Bageshree S.

Bangalore: In move that gains significance in the light of the Lok Sabha election, 19 sub-sects of the Lingayat community have been added to the list of Backward Classes in Karnataka. They will be added to the 3-B category, which is eligible for a 5 per cent reservation.

With this inclusion, nearly the entire Lingayat community now comes under the Backward Classes list, including the more powerful sects within it such as Veerashaiva Banajiga, Veerashaiva Aradhya, Veerashaiva Reddy, Veerashaiva Sadara and Veerashaiva Panchamasali. The 3-B category includes 23 sub-sects of the community, and now the number has gone up to 42.

Four Chief Ministers of Karnataka in the past, S.R. Kanthi, S. Nijalingappa, Veerandra Patil and J.H. Patel, belonged to the Veerashaiva Banajiga community, which is now eligible for reservation.

Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa belongs to the Veerashaiva Ganiga sub-sect, which is among the 19 sub-sects added to the list of backward classes.

Inclusion of these 19 sub-sects in the list was one of the 34 recommendations made by the former Backward Classes Commission Chairperson, S. Siddalingiah, in 2005.

Interestingly, only one of these recommendations, which is on the inclusion of these sub-sects, has been chosen for implementation by the Government, while the other 33 have been left untouched.

Karnataka State Backward Classes Commission Chairperson C.S. Dwarakanath said that he was unaware of the criterion used to include these sub-sects under 3-B. The commission was “not consulted” before the decision was taken, he said.

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