The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has promised to increase reservation in education and employment to Scheduled Tribes (STs). The party’s promise for increasing the reservation from current 3 percent to 7.5 percent if it is voted to power in the next Assembly election. It has also promised a commission for STs.
It made this promise at the Valmiki Parivarthana Samavesha, a State-level congregation of Scheduled Tribes mobilised by the BJP’s ST Morcha at Lingsugur in Raichur district on Sunday.
Party leaders including State unit president B.S. Yeddyurappa, Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council K.S. Eshwarappa, the former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, and others all appealed to ST communities to support their party in the next Assembly election so that they could get increased reservation benefits.
“We will fulfil the long-pending demand of providing 7.5 per cent reservation to STs through various legal procedures,” Mr. Yeddyurappa said.
“The Congress and Siddaramaiah have completely forgotten the oppressed and marginalised communities after assuming power in the State. They are indeed ‘dead’ for the people who voted them to power with great expectations. Development has become a mirage in the State under the Congress regime,” he added.
Mr. Yeddyurappa said that several development and welfare initiatives that were initiated during the BJP tenure, were not continued by the Congress with the same intensity.
“We had distributed over three lakh Bhagyalakshmi bonds when we were in power. The number of the bonds distributed has come down to around one lakh. The government has declared 115 taluks in the State as drought-hit, though the number of drought-hit taluks is over 140. However, not a single rupee is released to take up relief work,” he said.
Mr. Yeddyurappa said that people who were already fed up with Congress rule in the State would bless his party in the next Assembly election. He declared that he would tour the State and build the party from the grassroots level.
“We will win at least 150 seats and form the next government in the State,” he said.
Mr. Eshwarappa criticised the Congress government in the State by calling it a “heartless government.”
“The Congress came to power by promising development of backward classes. It has cheated them by neglecting their issues. These communities will teach the Congress a lesson in the next Assembly polls,” he said.
However, the Urban Development Minister R. Roshan Baig said that the BJP in its dream to come back to power in the State had started making desperate and impracticable promises to the people, the latest being 7.5 per cent reservation for the scheduled tribes.
Mr. Baig said as per the census figures of 2011, there were only 6.95 per cent scheduled tribe population in the State and the BJP is promising of providing 7.5 per cent reservation. “This only shows how desperate the BJP leaders have become.”
Accusing BJP of using money power to mobilise people for its political conventions, he said “Such gimmicks would not help the BJP to garner votes and come back to power in the state…They are day dreaming of coming back to power.”