CM Siddaramaiah vows to get caste-wise census report commissioned during his first stint

08:15 AM Jul 03, 2023 | PTI |

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday vowed to get the caste-wise census report which he had commissioned during his first stint as CM from 2013-18. He said the caste-based census was a must to bring those communities into the mainstream of society who were subjected to injustice due to casteism.


Siddaramaiah alleged that the then Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy during whose tenure (May 2018-July 2019) the caste-based census report was ready, scuttled its tabling by threatening the then Backward Classes Welfare Minister C Puttaranga Shetty.

Speaking after performing the ground-breaking ceremony of Sri Kaginele Mahasansthan Kanaka Gurupeeth, here today, Siddaramaiah said the Kuruba (shepherds) community, which he belonged to, constitutes about seven percent of the total population of the state.

”We are seven percent in the total population (in the state), which means that out of seven crore population, we are 49 lakh. That’s why to find out the caste-wise population I had assigned the then chairperson of the Karnataka Backward Classes Commission H Kantharaj,” Siddaramaiah said.

According to the Chief Minister, the main purpose behind commissioning the caste-wise census was to find out where people stand socially and economically.


He added that the caste-wise census did not happen even after the independence of the country. Siddaramaiah said during his previous stint, he had even allocated Rs 162 crore for caste-wise census.

He dismissed the allegation that it was ready during his previous tenure. ”If it was ready, I would have received it definitely. I wouldn’t have bothered about anything,” Siddaramaiah said. He could not receive the report because it was not signed by the member secretary of the commission. By the time he could receive the report, Congress lost power in the state in 2018.

”In the coalition government led by Chief Minister Kumaraswamy, Puttaranga Shetty became the Backward Classes Minister. The report was ready by then. ”I told Puttaranga Shetty to get the backward classes commission report. So, he fixed a date to receive the report. Kumaraswamy directed Shetty not to receive the report. The then Minister Bandeppa (Kashempur) threatened him. So Shetty did not receive it. The report is still lying as it is,” the Chief Minister claimed.

Siddaramaiah vowed to get the report saying that it will help give preferential treatment to those communities which remained backward socially, economically, and politically.

However, according to him, there is a glitch because the member secretary did not sign the document. In this regard, he said he would speak to the current chairperson of the commission K Jayaprakash Hegde. ”We will certainly receive it. It has to be signed first. There is some technical problem. We will take it definitely because we have to give preferential treatment accordingly,” Siddaramaiah said.

He said, ”It is necessary for tabling the budget to know the population of each caste and also their socio-economic and political status. Then only we can give them preferential treatment. Otherwise, it cannot be given. For this reason we have to receive the report.” Stating that he had commissioned the caste-wise census during his first stint as Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah said he now got another opportunity to head the state and will get the report tabled.

The Chief Minister also promised to implement the five guarantees announced during the election irrespective of the difficulties his government may face.


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