“Our government will implement a report on caste-based census. We will discuss this matter and publish it immediately,” said BJP leader Eshwarappa on Sunday October 18.
Eshwarappa was speaking at a seminar on backward castes organized by Karnataka state backward castes federation. He lauded the effort of Siddaramaiah for conducting caste-based survey. But he regretted that the report did not get published during his regime. Eshwarappa objected to Siddaramaiah’s recent statement that he would protest if the caste-based census report was not implemented.
Eshwarappa further said, “During the regime of Siddaramaiah, Rs 160 crore was spent on conducting caste-based census. But the report was not published. During Kumaraswamy’s reign also this did not happen. We will try to bring this report to implementation.”
In response, Siddaramaiah, who was also present, greeted Eshwarappa with ‘Namo Namo’, and clarified that he had not said that he would descend on the streets if the report was not implemented. He also said that he believes in what Eshwarappa said and his party would put pressure on the government for the implementation of the report.
Responding to Eshwarappa’s statement on why the report was not implemented during his regime, Siddaramaiah said, “If the survey was completed during my regime, I would have taken action to implement the same. It is not right to politicise the matter. When I was deputy CM, I had kept aside Rs 25 crore for this work. But the governments which came after me did not take any interest in the matter.
“The constitution says that there should be a permanent commission for backward castes. I had formed a permanent backward castes commission under the leadership of Prof Ravivarma Kumar. Later Dwarkanath was the president. The commission was dissolved a year ago. Why was it dissolved? Is this a political decision? In the Indira Sahani case when the judge asked the statistics on caste, the lawyer did not have any answer. That is why I formed the commission.
“People of all suppressed classes should read the speeches made by Dr Ambedkar. If the power is in the hands of the rich and affluent, justice will not be served. The Constitution provides for reservation only to people who are backward socially and educationally. But ten percent reservation has been given to financially poor people of the general category. This is unconstitutional. It is unfortunate that no one has objected to this,” he said.
“Reservation should not be limited to one specific class but all classes which have the attributes of SC community. Let them give reservations based on population. I do not object to an increase in reservation for the Valmiki community,” he added.
In the backward community meeting that was held at the Godwan Hotel of Lalbagh Road Eshwarappa, Siddaramaiah and former minister H M Revanna took part.