Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday promised that his government would consider giving reservation to people belonging to other backward classes in cooperative institutions and housing under the Bangalore Development Authority, the Karnataka Housing Board, urban development authorities, municipal institutions and the Karnataka Slum Clearance Board in the State.
Addressing the 10th anniversary celebrations-conference of the Karnataka State Backward Castes Federation at Madavara on the outskirts of the city, which he earlier inaugurated, Mr. Siddaramaiah told the gathering that the Congress government would do justice to not only OBCs and minorities in cooperative institutions and the housing sector but also the poor among all castes.
Now, only Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and nomadic tribes enjoy reservation in the cooperation and housing sectors.
Going beyond the demands made in the resolutions moved by the former Minister H.M. Revanna and the introductory speech by backward class leader B.K. Ravi that were endorsed by the gathering, the Chief Minister said that the miniscule minorities among the majority community should be given an opportunity to see development in their lives.
Referring to the Bharatiya Janata Party criticism before the Assembly elections that the Congress would not make him Chief Minister, Mr. Siddaramaiah said that while both the Janata Dal (Secular) and the BJP paid lip sympathy to OBCs, the Congress always espoused the cause of these vulnerable sections of society.
Most OBC leaders, including D. Devaraj Urs, S. Bangarappa, M. Veerappa Moily and N. Dharam Singh, were able to enjoy power as they were in the Congress, he said.
Union Minister for Petroleum M. Veerappa Moily and Ministers R. Roshan Baig, K.J. George, R. Ramalinga Reddy, H.C. Mahadevappa, Vinayakumar Sorake, H. Anjaneya, Shivaraj Tangadagi and Baburao Chinchansur participated.
Mr. Ravi hailed Mr. Siddaramaiah for organising reservation for OBCs in a scientific manner when he was Deputy Chief Minister in 1996 and urged the community to strengthen the hands of Mr. Siddaramaiah as some vested interests were working against him.
Apart from the demands that Mr. Siddaramaiah promised to fulfil, the conference wanted the government to allocate Rs. 5,000 crore for the development of OBCs and allot sites for the federation and OBC associations. Federation president S. Siddagangaiah presided over the conference.
Vehicular traffic at the NICE Road-National Highway junction was affected as buses and lorries bringing OBCs from far off places for the conference arrived there.