Padayatra to Bengaluru will go on as scheduled: Panchamasali seer

‘I have not issued any statement on withdrawing the march’

Amid confusing reports about the proposed padayatra from Kudalasangama to Bengaluru seeking 2A reservation for Lingayat Panchamasali community being called off, seer of Lingayat Panchamasali Peetha at Kudalasangama Basava Jaya Mrutyunjaya Swami on Wednesday clarified that the protest march would be held as scheduled.

The padayatra is expected to be launched by former Union Minister Basavanagouda Patil Yatnal of Vijayapura, one of the bitter critics of Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa who has not been inducted into the Cabinet. Speaking to presspersons at Kudalasangama in Bagalkot district on Wednesday, the seer clarified that he had not issued any statement on withdrawing the march to the State capital seeking reservation and it would begin from Thursday as announced earlier.

He said that he did not know in what context newly-inducted Minister Murugesh Nirani had issued a statement about the agitation being called off. “But we will not take back the step put forward,” he said. He also clarified that he would withdraw the agitation only if the government issued a written statement on including the Panchamasali community under 2A category of other backward classes.

On Mr. Nirani being inducted into the Cabinet, the seer said based on the population of the Panchamasalil community he had been inducted and there was nothing special about it. “Even if all MLAs of the community are given Minister’s post, the agitation will not be withdrawn,” he said. On allegations that the padayatra was being held at the behest of Mr. Yatnal, he denied it and said it had the support of all the sitting and former legislators from the community.

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