Caste census during Siddaramaiah's tenure aimed at weakening Vokkaligas, Veerashaivas, says forum

Vokkaliga Veerashaiva-Lingayat Souharda Vedike, a newly formed forum of two dominant communities in the State, has accused the former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of having an “ulterior motive” in conducting the caste census during his tenure. They claimed that it was aimed at decreasing their political representation.

On Saturday, during a discussion on caste census attended by heads of various mutts, members of the legal fraternity and others, vedike members accused Mr. Siddaramaiah and others of “selectively leaking” contents of the report even before it was accepted by the government and presented before the Karnataka legislature.

Gangadhar Gurumath, an advocate, said the Siddaramaiah government carried out the caste census with a “political motive” and that it was “unconstitutional and unscientific”.

It was aimed at projecting that Lingayat and Vokkaliga communities do not comprise the majority of the population in the State. “It was also intended to decrease political representations for these two communities in the State,” he alleged.

S. Harish, another advocate, said a writ petition was pending before the High Court, while some people were demanding the release of the report. “Political parties cutting across party lines should not indulge in dividing society,” he said.

Mallesh, a leader of the vedike, described the money spent on caste census as “waste of public money.” Vedike members said they plan to conduct more such programmes in the coming days.

In the last couple of weeks, political leaders have indulged in mud-slugging over the caste census report. While Mr. Siddaramaiah had accused the former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy of blocking submission of the report during the JD(S)–Congress coalition government, the latter had said that to settle political scores, the Congress had leaked the report instead of accepting it.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 12:40:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/caste-census-aimed-at-weakening-vokkaligas-veerashaivas-says-forum/article36298337.ece

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