Brewing row? Congress government seeks caste details of cops

Bengaluru: The Siddaramaiah government which is already in neck-deep trouble over the Veerashaiva-Lingayat religion row, has stocked another controversy by seeking caste-wise information of Group A, B, C and D officers/officials serving in the state police department.

On March 17, 2018, Mr Amrit Paul, inspector general of police (administration) had issued a circular to police commissionerates, IGP of all ranges, SPs of all districts, Karnataka Police Academy Director, Principal of Police Training Schools and commandants of all reserve police units asking them to provide information as these details had to be incorporated in the report of the Social and Educational Survey conducted by Karnataka State Commission for Backward Classes to make a detailed comparison with the primary source of date collected from the survey. 

This circular has kicked up a big row at a time when the state Assembly polls are round the corner.

When contacted, Home Minister R Ramalinga Reddy slammed the BJP for giving  political colour to this exercise and clarified that it had nothing to do with the coming elections. The recent circular had been sent after the home department failed to respond to seven reminders sent since December, 2016 asking for information. The commission had sent such a circular to all 50 departments seeking information of the staff working in their respective departments to incorporate the same in the government's ambitious Social and Educational Survey being undertaken by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at a cost of Rs 180 crore. Reminders had been sent not only to home department but also other departments which  failed to provide information.

When he was asked why the backward classes commission was not ready to get details of each employee provided at the time of joining government service, Mr Reddy said the commission wanted to reconfirm whether details furnished by government servants were true as wrong information should not be furnished for a comprehensive survey being done by the government. "Our idea is not to use this information for election purposes but only to help the government come out with a proper survey report".

While Mr Reddy defended seeking caste-information from all departments, the question arises:  was is this being done now when the state government is not serious about making the survey report public? While the Commission claims that the survey report is ready, the government is postponing its release on the ground that it was yet to obtain certain information from many departments. Time and again, the CM and Social Welfare Minister H Anjaneya had been dodging questions on making the caste survey public. 

But, according to insiders, there was lot of pressure on the government against making this survey report public fearing strong protests from the majority communities. Already, Vokkaliga Sangha had threatened to challenge this survey report claiming that it had been prepared 'unscientifically'. 

Besides, the Siddaramaiah government has been facing fierce opposition from the Veerashaiva community who have accused him of dividing their community at the behest of some ministers on the Lingayat religion issue. In these circumstances, seeking caste-wise information of the police department is definitely going to provide  ammunition to the  opposition parties to launch a fresh attack on the state government.

Gowda to Siddu: people   will teach you a lesson
Former PM Deve Gowda while addressing a public meeting in  Chamaraja constituency on Thursday slammed Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for claiming the JD(S) was the ‘B’ team of the BJP.

He said, "I am 85, Siddaramaiah may be in his early 60s, I may not be able to fight him in the ring, but people who are with me, will teach you a lesson for your ego and arrogance," 

"He satirically says I want to make Kumaraswamy CM. He should be grateful to me  before making satirical comments. My intention is not to ensure Kumaraswamy  becomes CM, I want to ensure this regional party  survives and resolves the problems of people.I shall not rest until then," he said. 

He added, "Had he exhibited the dignity his position demanded, I would have bowed my head before him. It is the arrogance of power and money. It will not last long. He should remember who was responsible for his rise. Mr Narendra Modi termed them  a ‘10 per cent commission’ government, whose percentage is what will be known soon," he said. 

"Did he behave respectably when he was opposition leader? I do not have any personal enmity with B.S. Yeddyurappa. But it was my son who exposed the scams of Yeddyurappa and he went to jail because of me. Can they (Congress)  win all seven Assembly seats in Hassan? They cannot defeat Revanna or stop Kumaraswamy. If he (Siddu) can bring 50,000 people I can bring 1 lakh people in Hassan." 

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