Questions Deve Gowda’s commitment to ensuring social justice for backward classes
Bangalore: The former Deputy Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday termed the decision to form a Cabinet subcommittee to consider the demand for internal reservation among Other Backward Classes (OBCs) a conspiracy by the former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda to divide the OBCs.
‘Should be scientific’
The Congress leader, however, made it clear that he was not opposed to the proposal for internal reservation. It should be done in a scientific manner and should benefit all oppressed sections. The process should not be confined to only Category 2 (a) among the OBCs. “Injustice should not be done to any section,” he said.
Such an exercise should be based on a survey of the socio-economic conditions of all oppressed communities, Mr. Siddaramaiah told presspersons on the sidelines of a function organised here on Saturday by the Karnataka State Ahalyabai Holkar Mahila Samaj to celebrate the birth anniversary of Devi Ahalyabai Holkar.
He recalled that he had set apart a sum of Rs. 23 crore for conducting such a survey when he was the Finance Minister. But the Janata Dal (S)-Bharatiya Janata Party government had not conducted the survey though it had decided to constitute a Cabinet subcommittee to look into the process of implementing internal reservation.
If the Government had been interested in helping the OBCs, it would have constituted the Permanent Backward Classes Commission by now. “The Permanent Backward Classes Commission is supposed to conduct a socio-economic survey of different communities and decide on the addition or deletion of communities from the list of backward classes depending upon their development status,” he argued.
Mr. Siddaramaiah said the OBCs were getting organised after the AHINDA (a federation of minorities, OBCs and Dalits) conventions were launched. Hence, Mr. Gowda was trying to divide them, he maintained.
Nobody had either opposed internal reservation or asked for it to be implemented. Mr. Gowda was raking up the issue to divide the backward classes, he charged.
Mr. Siddaramaiah also questioned the former Prime Minister’s commitment to social justice. He accused Mr. Gowda of obstructing the implementation of the recommendations of several backward classes commissions, including the Venkataswamy Commission and the Chinnappa Reddy Commission.
There was confusion within the Government and the JD(S) on the issue of internal reservation. “Mr. Gowda says he wants internal reservation. His son H.D. Kumaraswamy says reservation itself is of no use,” Mr Siddaramaiah said.