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In poll-bound K'taka, rollback of Muslim quota likely to turn into crisis

Withdrawal of 4 per cent reservation for Muslim community by the ruling BJP government is likely to snowball into a crisis-situation in the poll-bound Karnataka.

As the major political parties engage in a war of words over the issue, members of the Muslim community came out in the open on Tuesday to protest against the BJP government's decision.

The ruling BJP had withdrawn reservation of Muslims under 2B category and sent a proposal to the Centre. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has announced that the 4 per cent quota for Muslim will be given to Lingayats and Vokkaligas.

Chief Minister Bommai maintained that the reservation quota for Muslims will be intact as they will be moved to the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota.

Muslim groups and political parties have come to the streets lately demanding that their quota should remain untouched. The protests have been staged in Belagavi, Chitradurga and Mandya cities of Karnataka.

The Minority Unit of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) and Muslim community members had taken out a protest march in Belagavi. The agitators raised slogans against the ruling BJP party. They had also submitted a memorandum to the District Commissioner's office.

Members of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) staged a protest on the road in Chitradurga raising slogans against the government. SDPI had built a platform near DC Circle for the protest. As the police denied permission, the protest was staged on the road.

Various Muslim organisations and SDPI staged a protest against withdrawal of reservation. The protest was staged near the Vishveshvaraya statue in Mandya.

Former CM and JD (S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy raised a concern that what if Muslim community takes to the streets like the Banjara community? Who will be responsible for the consequences?

"I appreciate the conduct of Muslim community at this hour. The BJP government had taken decisions as per whims and fancies. If Muslim community members had come to streets angered by withdrawal of their 4 per cent reservation, innocent people would have lost their lives," he reiterated.

Kumaraswamy further stated that the national parties should not indulge in creating conflicting situations between castes. Both parties are indulging in this, he added.

The protest by Banjara community members over a new reservation decision by the BJP government turned violent in Shikaripura of Shivamogga district. The agitators had pelted stones on former chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa's residence and even attacked police.

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