Srinivas Prasad criticises religious leaders over campaigns for reservation

Veteran Dalit leader and former Minister V. Srinivas Prasad on Tuesday found fault with the heads of mutts for taking to streets as part of campaigns seeking reservation for different castes.

Mr. Prasad said the seers, who dealt with religious issues, did not have complete knowledge about the Constitution and Parliament. The seers should not talk about reservation and political issues as they did not concern them, said Mr. Prasad, BJP MP representing Chamarajanagar.

He said the seers should not take to the streets over the issue and said he expected the government to warn them.

Speaking to reporters in Mysuru, Mr. Prasad trained his guns on party colleagues — Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj K.S. Eshwarappa, MLC A.H. Vishwanath, and Minister for Municipal Administration N. Nagaraju (MTB) — for the campaign to include Kurubas in the list of Scheduled Tribes (ST).

Referring to Mr. Nagaraju, Mr. Prasad wondered aloud how could a community whose member purchases a helicopter worth ₹10 crore be included in the list of ST. He said that members of the community had occupied the posts of Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister, apparently referring to Mr. Siddaramaiah and Mr. Eshwarappa, while questioning the need for such a community to be clubbed with communities such as Soliga, Kadu Kuruba, and Jenu Kuruba.

Besides, he said the State government does not have the powers to make a decision on the issue of reservation. Such demands should be placed before a committee constituted by the State government, which has to forward the committee’s recommendation to the Centre. Only the Centre can decide on the issue of reservations, he said.

He also decried the demand for inclusion of Panchamasali Lingayats in the 2A category of OBC list and said such a move would have a bearing on the communities that are already part of the category.

He said the State government should not allow such campaigns for reservations to prolong and urged Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa to issue a firm statement on the issue by explaining the State government’s limitations.

He also referred to the Supreme Court’s direction that reservation should not cross the 50%.

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 1:55:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/srinivas-prasad-criticises-religious-leaders-over-campaigns-for-reservation/article33975178.ece

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