Bengaluru: In what could be termed as a veiled attack on BJP state president B.S. Yeddyurappa and praise for CM Siddaramaiah, former PM H.D. Deve Gowda on Sunday alleged that if other backward classes (OBCs) remain deprived of their legitimate share of power, the upper caste Lingayats and Vokkaligas should be blamed for this.
Speaking at the Karnataka Balija Mahasamavesha here, Gowda said he has no power to empower the backward classes at this juncture. “I also want to highlight the fact that when the Congress was in power, then CM Veerappa Moily’s decision to shift Balijas to 3-A category from 2-A category, deprived them of opportunities in education. When the BJP came to power, then CM B.S. Yeddyurappa did a similar thing which deprived the community of employment opportunities,” he alleged
Gowda claimed he had always made an honest attempt to empower the BCs through reservation. “Whenever people gave me power, I worked hard to implement the reservation system without any fear. I was the one who implemented reservation for OBCs in local bodies. Similarly, the Congress did good things for OBCs which was spearheaded by then CM Devaraj Urs. If The present dispensation too is doing work for the OBCs but people here should not think that I have come here to heap praise on Siddaramaiah,” he clarified. State BJP president B.S. Yeddyurappa trained his guns on Siddaramaiah stating that the latter was a shrewd politician who never gives concrete assurances, and instead tries to find ‘escape routes.’
Siddaramaiah assured the Balijas that his government would take steps to include them under 2-A category once the caste census data was released.
Taking a swipe at his critics, he wondered how caste census could divide society.
“Aren’t we already divided on caste lines? For ages, we are divided and sub-divided on the basis of caste. That is the reality,” he argued to buttress his point that the caste census data would only help the state government evolve schemes for the downtrodden more scientifically....