Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has received a barrage of criticism after he announced the establishment of the Karnataka Maratha Development Authority earmarking Rs 50 crore. Following the announcement, the dominant Veerashaiva Lingayat community had also demanded a separate board. The demand was accepted by the Chief Minister too. Now,  another dominant caste – Vokkaligas — is also demanding a board and likewise, Kuruba, Valmiki, Kodava, Christian, Jain, and other communities are also raising demand to create corporations for them. Also Read - Karnataka Not To Reopen Schools, Pre-University Colleges in December

The decisions to set up the Karnataka Veerashaiva-Lingayat Development Corporation (KVLDC) and Maratha Development Authority are seen by sections in political circles as an attempt to woo the Marathas and the Veerashaiva-Lingayats, who are in sizeable numbers in Basava Kalyan assembly segment in Bidar district and Belagavi Lok Sabha constituency, bordering Maharashtra, where by-elections are due. Also Read - Karnataka NEET Mock Allotment Result 2020 Likely To Release Today At kea.kar.nic.in

Bsava Kalyan and Belagavi seats have fallen vacant following the demise of sitting Congress MLA B Narayan Rao and BJP MP Suresh Angadi due to COVID-19 recently. Congress, however, has earlier dismissed the demand for KVLDC, saying it will not serve any purpose. Instead, there should be reservation for the Veerashaiva Lingayats in education and government jobs, it said. Also Read - After Tamil Nadu, Karnataka Govt Mulls Banning Online Gambling Games | Decision Soon

B S Yediyurappa on Tuesday ordered the formation of a corporation for all-round development of the politically-influential Veerashaiva Lingayat community in the state. Yediyurappa, who himself belongs to the community, issued an order for constituting the Karnataka Veerashaiva-Lingayat Development Corporation (KVLDC) with immediate effect.

It came a day after a group of ministers and BJP MLAs led by Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi from the community called on Yediyurappa demanding setting up of the corporation.

“The state has a huge population of Veerashaiva-Lingayats, of which there are people who are economically, socially and educationally backward. “Since there is a need to set Karnataka Veerashaiva- Lingayat Development Corporation for the all-round development of this community, it is ordered to immediately set up this corporation,” the Chief Minister said in his order.

Earlier this week, several pro-Kannada organisations staged a protest in Bengaluru demanding that government withdraw the Maratha board proposal.

“The government must withdraw the order to set up the Maratha Development Board by November 27, failing which we will stage a statewide stir and Karnataka bandh on December 5,” Kannada Okkuta president Vatal Nagaraj told during the protest.

Former Minister and BJP National General Secretary CT Ravi in defense has said that there is nothing wrong in setting up board for Marathas in Karnataka. “What is wrong in setting up Maratha development board? When Minority development authority was created, nobody had an issue, why now? In Karnataka Kannadigas are supreme, but nothing wrong in setting up a board for Maratha community,” he justified.