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  • Writer's pictureDahlia Foundation

Karnataka Congress govt may not bite the bullet as Dalit ministers raise internal quota demand

The Karnataka Congress government appears to have decided to put the ball in the Centre’s court over the implementation of the 2012 report of the Justice A J Sadashiva Commission. Dalit leaders in the state Congress have been demanding that the government accept the report and provide “internal quotas” to Dalits.

The Commission had been set up by a Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) government in 2005, to look into the need for classifying Karnataka’s Scheduled Castes into sub categories for the purposes of reservations, and to find ways of doing it.

According to sources, the government has taken this position because the report had already been “partially accepted” by the previous BJP government. “The Justice Sadashiva Commission report is not up for consideration. The previous government had accepted parts of it and had already written to the Centre to clear a path for the implementation of internal quotas. The issue is now before the Centre,” said officials in the state Law Ministry.

There is fresh urgency after November 11, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi told a poll rally in neighbouring Telangana that he would constitute a committee to look into the demand for internal reservations for Dalits, made by the Madiga Reservation Porata Samiti (MRPS) in that state.

Soon after, three Dalit Karnataka ministers — Home Minister G Parameshwara, Social Welfare Minister H C Mahadevappa and Food and Civil Supplies Minister K H Muniyappa — along with seven-time Congress Lok Sabha MP K H Muniyappa, requested Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to accept the report.

In fact, Muniyappa, who belongs to the Madiga community — considered the most deprived among Dalits — has given a call to all Madigas to stage statewide protests demanding the implementation of the report. Two weeks ago, he had asked the community to stick to their demand for the implementation of the report in the state.

The Madigas are the largest block of Dalits. They feel aggrieved by better-off sub-groups hogging most of the Dalit quotas, and consider the Sadashiva report to be key to the delivery of social justice, because it studied the socio-economic conditions of Dalits as sub groups.

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