The government of Karnataka has decided to terminate the 4% OBC reservation quota for the Muslims of the state. They will now be placed in the 10% Economically Weaker Section ( EWS) category. On the other hand, the government decided to increase the current quota for the Vokkaliga and Lingayat communities by 2%. Interestingly these two communities play a major role in Karnataka elections.
In a game-changing move ahead of the Karnataka election which is set to take place in April- May this year, the Basavaraj Bommai government has scrapped the reservation of 4% given to the Muslim community under the 2B of Other Backward Classes ( OBC) category, it will now be distributed equally among the Vokkaligas and Lingayats the two most dominant communities of Karnataka.
The Bommai cabinet decided to bring minorities under the EWS category. This crucial move comes ahead of the all-important Karnataka Assembly polls. Speaking to reporters after the cabinet meeting, the Chief Minister said that the religious minority quota for Muslims would be removed and it will be brought under the 10% EWS category with no change in condition.
The Chief Minister further said “The four percent (reservation for minorities) will be divided into two between 2C and 2D. The 4% reservation for the Vokkaligas and others will enhance to six percent and Veerashaiva Panchamasali and others (Lingayats), who were getting five percent reservations will now get seven percent,”.
The Karnataka government has also hiked reservations for Scheduled Caste ( SCs) and Scheduled Tribes ( STs) from 15 to 17% for the former and from 3 to 7% for the latter. This decision, however, pushes Karnataka’s reservation tally to 57% from 50% in the past. The reservation for Muslims in Karnataka was introduced by the Deve Gowda government in 1995 and has continued since then till the time it was abolished.
Waqf board demands restoration of 4% reservation
The waqf board has expressed disappointment over the government’s decision to abolish the 4% reservation quota for the Muslim community under OBC. The board has argued to give back the 4% OBC reservation quota and has said the government is attempting to polarise the situation before the elections.
A leader from the board expressed concern and said, that they don’t have any hopes from the BJP government. Their demand for the government is to give them the 4% reservation quota back. They feel the government is trying to polarise the voters by doing this. The leader said if the quota is not given back, they will protest in front of the Karnataka Assembly. After the government’s move, the community has now moved to the 10% EWS category.