India

Congress leaders to tour 100 segments to mobilise people


Amid agitation by some communities seeking enhanced reservation in government jobs and education, Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah and KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar are expected to tour at least 100 Legislative Assembly constituencies, where the party lost in the 2018 elections, to lend a voice to the demands for quota and support the interests of “ignored” sections of society.

Sources in the party said both the leaders would, in such constituencies, extend support to the marginalised sections, largely belonging to the OBC category, to make their voices heard. Both of them would undertake the tours after the Budget session of the State legislature next month. The plan is to not only to unite the marginalised sections of society but also lend support to genuine demands for reservation of some castes, sources said.

The Congress has decided to extend support for reservation demands of Kurubas, Valmikis, Panchamasali, and many other sub-castes. Though the Supreme Court has fixed the quota limit at 50%, there has been a growing demand from Kuruba and Valmiki leaders for either reclassification or enhancement of reservation. Congress leaders, besides some from within the BJP, including Ministers, have supported these demands.

Two days ago, Mr. Shivakumar tweeted, “Congress party is always with the Valmiki community. The community was given reservation in politics during the UPA regime. It should get reservation in education as well in jobs. Justice Nagmohan Das Committee was constituted by the Congress. We will be with you in a fight seeking implementation of the report.” Though Mr. Siddaramaiah did not participate in the Kuruba community rally in Bengaluru last week, leaders visited his house and felicitated him seeking his support for getting ST tag for the community.

OBC rallies?

When asked about the party’s plan on holding rallies on the lines of AHINDA (Kannada acronym for minorities, backward classes, and Dalits), the former Minister H.C. Mahadevappa, loyalist of Mr. Siddaramaiah, told The Hindu that as of now there was no proposal to hold such rallies. A section of the party leaders are believed to have not favoured such rallies.

However, party leaders would embark on rallies and protests to mobilise people against the State and Central governments for “faulty” anti-cow slaughter law and farm laws and make efforts to augment the party’s base in OBC and Dalit sections, Mr. Mahadevappa said.

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