Amid intense speculation about a possible leadership change in Karnataka, several seers of the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community have decided to organise religious heads convention on Sunday (July 25) in what is seen as sending out a loud and clear message to BJP party high command not to remove Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa.
This convention is seen as a last ditch effort to save Yediyurappa from resigning after July 26. Yediyurappa had maintained that he has not received any message from party high command till date but he was in anticipation of their message on July 25 (Sunday) evening, and until then he would be performing his duty.
After a meeting with like-minded seers here, Sri Dingaleshwar Swami, the seer of Balehosur Matha, told reporters that a group of pontiffs belonging all sects will be meeting on Saturday to deliberate on the agenda of the Sunday’s convention.
“This will be the first of its kind, and deliberate on a host of several issues that are bogged down by various communities in the state. Besides, it may also discuss the present political scenario as well,” he said.
According to him, the daylong deliberations by seers on Saturday will finalise the agenda of the convention.
Another prominent Lingayat seer, Rudramuni Sri of Tiptur Matha, said that Lingayat Mathas have given their own contributions to the society and whenever there is “confusion” prevails in the society or in the state, people do look towards religious heads to sort out such confusion.
“Our prime agenda will be on the welfare of the society and state… nothing else. It is not in favour or against anyone,” he said cryptically but added that the convention would speak on the present political turmoil in the state too.
Answering to a question, Dingaleshwara seer that there is nothing wrong in religious heads speaking on political issues. “There is no such thing that separates religion or philosophy. We religious heads do visit politicians to get works done for the welfare of society so, in turn, politicians meet us to seek guidance. There is no difference. Even going by your (media) speculation that we are holding a convention to seekA extension of term for Yediyurappa, what is wrong in it?” he asked.
Meanwhile, amid rising speculations about imminent change of leadership after July 26, Yediyurappa said that his priority is to create world-class facilities in Bengaluru.
Yediyurappa, who went on a city round along with senior bureaucrats in a Volvo air-conditioned bus of the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), said that Bengaluru needs planned infrastructure, which is the need of the hour to attract more people to come here and invest.
“My government has given special attention towards development of lakes, storm water drains, and parks in the city. In the coming days, we want all the roads in the city to be developed, we will ensure sufficient funds for it, aimed at all-round development of the city,” he told reporters after his city tour.
He said that as many as 36 works have taken up under the Smart City project, of which many road works have already been completed and in the current year, remaining road work will also be completed.
Listing out roads that have been developed under the TenderSure model in the city, the Chief Minister said that 69 roads of 147 km length have been white-topped in order to improve the quality of the city’s main roads.
“We took up this project to ensure that white-topping rods last long at least for the lifespan of next 20 years. For next two decades, we can rest assured that there won’t be any problem with potholes on these roads,” he said.
Yediyurappa added that he has inspected Smart City, TenderSure and other works which are under progress along with cabinet colleagues, legislators and officials. “It is our government’s priority to create world class facilities in Bengaluru and we will work towards achieving this goal,” he reiterated.
On Thursday, he had already stated that he would abide by the party high command’s decision which is construed as his way of saying that he would be demitting the office after completing two years on July 26.
In a bid to placate all communities in the state, the Karnataka cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, decided to include all those communities, not part of Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward Classes list, into the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) reservation quota.
Briefing reporters after the cabinet meeting, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Basavaraj Bommai said that all those communities, which are not part of the SC/ST/OBC lists, will be eligible to apply for jobs as well as for education seats under EWS reservation category.
“The order regarding this will come out shortly,” he said.
He said that all those families, whose income is less than Rs 8 lakh per annum, will be eligible under this EWS category reservations.
Earlier this year, Yediyurappa was under tremendous pressure from his own party leaders who were demanding better quota reservation. Seers from various communities had led movements across the state, demanding a hike in reservation quotas.
Panchamasali Lingayats, who are part of the politically-dominant Lingayat community too were seeking Category 2A status, Kurubas, the third-largest community in the state were seeking a Schedule Tribe tag and the Valmiki community was seeking a hike in reservation from 3.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent. Some prominent state BJP leaders, including incumbent ministers, had supported the demands. (IANS)