Special Correspondent

Revu Naik chairs a meeting of top community leaders

‘State Government cannot unilaterally raise reservation'

No proposal to shift veterinary university

BANGALORE: Top leaders of the Banjara community (lambanis) met here on Friday under the leadership of the Minister for Animal Husbandry, Revu Naik Belamagi, to discuss the needs and demands of members of the community.

Mr. Revu Naik told presspersons after the meeting that the lambanis were keen on a higher political representation and would request Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa to nominate a member of the community to the Legislative Council. The other demand was to appoint a lambani as Vice-Chancellor of a university.

The lambani population in the State was 40 lakh and they had been classified as Scheduled Castes in Karnataka while in some States they were classified as Scheduled Tribes. In a recent order, the Government had granted Rs. one crore each to 20 districts for the all-round development of the Lambani tandas.

There were over 2,000 lambani tandas in the State and the community had been demanding for long that the tandas should be rechristened as revenue villages which would enable them reap better benefits.

The Government had given a financial grant for the construction of a Banjara Bhavan.

To a question on the Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, Buta Singh, levelling a string of charges against the State Government for denying benefits to the Scheduled Castes population in the State, Mr. Revu Naik said the statement of Mr. Buta Singh was a political statement and far from the truth.

Reservation was proportionate to the population and could not be unilaterally raised by the Government. The present quota of reservation for the Scheduled Castes here was 15 per cent and could not be raised to 16.5 per cent without conducting a proper survey.

It should be noted that the Government is doing its best to fill all backlog vacancies and provide adequate funds for the welfare of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.

Asked about the proposal to shift the Veterinary College in Hebbal to a new campus in Hesarghatta, Mr. Revu Naik said there was no such proposal before the Government. The Chief Minister had made such an announcement during a recent visit to the University of Agricultural Sciences.

He said the staff shortage in the veterinary college would be overcome gradually and all the veterinary graduates who passed out of the veterinary university would be given jobs by the Government. At present, the vacancies of veterinary doctors was 972 and the Government had issued directions for the recruitment of 487 doctors. The appointment letters for 287 doctors would be issued soon after the grama panchayat elections were completed.