After forming the JDS-Congress coalition government amidst political high drama, now it is time for the coalition to confront another round of political strategies from different communities seeking representation to their communities while constituting the Cabinet. It is natural in a democratic set up. It is a social justice to ensure equal representation to each community based on its population in the administration and development. So, every community has the right to ask its share of portfolios while forming the cabinet.
Now, Lingayat and Vokkaliga (DK Shivakumar) communities have been attracting the attention in the state because of their demand of deputy chief minister post. In fact, the Lingayat leaders and community have been lobbying for this post in a big level. But the most surprising thing is there seems to be no strong demand or debate for the representation for Muslim community. A few Muslim MLAs have been demanding the positions. Apart from this, as a community, the Muslims have not placed their demand for the posts in a strong voice and it has not become a news either.
Though the Congress has no majority, it has formed the government. It is high time for the Congress high command on how to ensure justice to the Muslim community which has supported the party wholeheartedly. Even after recommending the Centre to consider Lingayat community as a separate religion in the state, Siddaramaiah did not get expected votes from that community. But the Vokkaliga community has supported the JDS in its strong bastion and in some parts, it has supported BJP. The interesting factor in this election is, the Congress has ‘lost’ the Ahinda votes from its basket. Despite a number of good programmes for the Dalits and Backward Classes and Siddaramaiah government was branded as ‘Ahinda government’, the result and voting share itself shows that the Congress has not got the votes from these two communities as it expected. But the Muslims have supported the Siddaramaiah government. Going by the result analysis and vote sharing, it is confirmed that more than 80 per cent Muslims have endorsed the government programmes and voted the Congress. This means, Muslims have played a pivotal role in Congress getting 78 seats. The Congress leadership should not forget this fact. The Congress leaders should think about ensuring natural justice to the community which supported them.
Now the Congress has seven Muslim MLAs. But both BJP and JDS have no Muslim MLAs this time. in recent years, this time the Muslim community has less number of MLAs. At this time, the Congress should not give excuses and cheat the Muslim community. Out of 22 portfolios, the Congress should give at least three posts to the community and while considering them, top portfolios like revenue, industry, health, education and others should be given. Those who were elected from Congress have all abilities to handle any portfolios. Considering the experience, previous achievements, the votes they have taken, regional representation, service to the party and opinion among people, the Congress should give cabinet ranks to minimum three members out of seven MLAs. Other minorities like Jains, Christians and others should also get their share. Social justice should not remain as a slogan, but it should be implemented effectively.
If the Muslims were cheated without doing this, the Congress will have to face the opposition from the community. Those who are against giving portfolios to Muslim community saying that Hindus would detach from the Congress, should clarify about how many Hindu houses they have reached, how many programmes of the Siddaramaiah government they have taken to the houses of Hindus? Just making loud speeches on the stages would not help as such speeches would not convert into votes. They have to work hard to get votes. But some Congress leaders have forgotten this very simple mantra. Such leaders have raised their objection on giving more seats to Muslims.
No community should be given more seats than it deserves. But it should get the seats it deserved as a social justice. Then only, we could ensure social justice. If it is forgotten, then Muslims may think of cornering the Congress in future.
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New Delhi, Dec 11: The Supreme Court said on Tuesday that if there is a "common thread" among the murders of social activists Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, journalist Gauri Lankesh and rationalist M M Kalburgi, then one agency can investigate all the four cases.
A bench of Justices U U Lalit and Navin Sinha asked the CBI to inform it by January first week as to why it should not investigate all the four cases if there appears a link among all the murders.
The counsel for the Maharashtra government informed the court that the CBI is investigating the murder cases of social activist and professor Narendra Dabholkar after the Bombay High Court transferred the probes to the agency.
The court, after perusing the status report of the Karnataka Police, said there appears to be a link between the murders of journalist Gauri Lankesh and rationalist M.M Kalburgi.
It asked the Maharashtra government's counsel about the status of the investigation into the Pansare murder case, to which the counsel said the case was pending before the Kolhapur trial court.
Earlier in the day, the Karnataka Police had informed the apex court that there appears to be a connection between Lankesh and Kalburgi murder cases.
The state police also told the apex court that it will file a chargesheet in the Kalburgi murder case in three months.
Noted scholar Kalburgi was killed at Dharwad in 2015. Pansare was also killed the same year. Lankesh was shot dead on September 5, 2017 in Bengaluru, whereas rationalist Dabholkar was assassinated on August 20, 2013.
The top court on November 26 had pulled up the Karnataka government for "doing nothing and just fooling around" in the investigation and had indicated that it may transfer the case to the Bombay High Court.
The top court had on January 10 sought the response of probe agencies NIA and CBI and the two state governments on the allegation of Uma Devi that no substantial investigation has been carried out so far in the murder case.
Kalburgi's wife, in her petition, had alleged that there was common link between the murder of her husband and that of activists Narendra Achyut Dabholkar and Govindrao Pansare, who too were assassinated in August 2013 and February 2015 respectively.
The 77-year old Kalburgi, the former vice chancellor of Hampi University and a well-known epigraphist, was shot dead in broad daylight at his residence in Kalyan Nagar in Dharwad, Karnataka, on August 30, 2015. Born in 1938, he was a Sahitya Akademi award-winning writer of old Kannada literature.