Bengaluru, Nov 22 (IANS): A letter by the Chairman of the Backward Classes Commission stating that the original copy of the caste census report is missing, has gone viral on social media triggering another round of controversy in Karnataka.
Reacting to the development Chief Minister Siddaramaiah stated in Bengaluru on Wednesday that he had not seen the content of the caste report.
“I don’t know about the original copy of the report going missing. We will go through the caste report and verify,” he stated.
Siddaramaiah further stated that the tenure of the Chairman of the Backward Classes Commission K. Jayaprakash Hegde, was ending this month.
“I have asked him to continue until the report is submitted,” he stated.
Talking about the opposition to the caste report by the Vokkaliga community, Siddaramaiah stated that the content in the report has to be seen first.
“I have given directions to submit the report by December or January. Once the report is submitted, the demand by the Vokkaliga community will be verified. When I have not seen the report, how is it possible for others to go through the report,” he asked.
BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal shared the letter written by the Chairman of the Backward Classes Commission to the Principal Secretary of the Department of Backward Classes Welfare Department on his social media on Wednesday.
MLA Yatnal stated, “The caste census report submitted to the Chief Minister does not have the original copy, showcasing the lack of responsibility or a conspiracy theory. The validity of this document which does not have the signature of Member Secretary is questionable.
“Despite being privy to such developments, the Government has not taken action against errant officials. This seems to be a drama deliberately done by the Government.”
The letter says, “On August 26, 2021, sealed boxes containing the statistics and other details in the Social and Academic Survey – 2015 were opened in the presence of the Chairman of the Backward Classes Commission, members and Member Secretary as per due process. The Commission has observed that in the printed main version of the report there was no signature of the Member Secretary. Along with this, it was found that the original copy of the main printed copy or blueprint was not available in the sealed boxes.
“The officer concerned was directed to submit the blueprint immediately. The officer has submitted a reply and it is attached. Bringing this matter to the notice of the government, I would seek how to proceed further and take action in this regard.”
Meanwhile, the Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar on Wednesday stated that he stands by the party’s line on the caste census but the demand of various communities for a scientific approach to the caste census must be considered.
The statement has assumed importance as the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is preparing to accept the controversial caste report.
Sources explain that it will also lead to internal fights in the ruling Congress party.
Shivakumar had also given his signature to the memorandum submitted in this regard that the present caste census report should not be accepted.
When asked whether he supports rejection of caste census by the Congress Government, Shivakumar maintained that, “The party’s stand is to give social justice through the caste census. But, there is demand from different communities for conducting caste census on scientific basis.”