The Karnataka caste-based census report has created a rift within the governing Congress, with stiff opposition by dominant communities, including Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar.
The divergent opinions within the state’s leadership — especially between Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar — have brought to the forefront the rift within the Karnataka Congress.
DK Shivakumar backed the Vokkaligga community and expressed discontent with the caste-based census report. Shivakumar said that he stands for the caste-based census but he also wanted the Government to consider the demand of the communities.
Along with Shivakumar, who hails from the dominant Vokkaliga community, the memorandum by the Vokkaligara Sangha — the community body — is also signed by some Ministers and Congress legislators.
Meanwhile, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah said that the survey report has not even been received by him, so why is the Vokkaligga community opposition to it, even before it is released?
Siddaramaiah said that Karnataka was the first state to conduct a caste census in the country.

“Our government was the first to conduct a caste census in the entire country. I got the caste census with the objective of knowing the economic, social and economic status of each caste. The following governments did not accept the census report,” the Chief Minister said.
Moreover, former Chief Minister of Karnataka BS Yediyurappa on Thursday expressed displeasure over the caste-based census report in Karnataka.
Speaking to the media, former CM of Karnataka and BJP leader, Yeddiyurappa said that “Nobody is happy about the caste-based census report, that is why it is being opposed by Vokkaligas and Lingayats.”
Amid huge uproar in the state over the report, Karnataka BJP chief BY Vijayendra said that it was ‘unscientific’.
“BJP is not against the caste census. However, the issue in Karnataka is that this is an unscientific caste census. Simply because a lot of communities are not being considered. My question is, if this caste census was ready during Siddaramaiah’s last tenure, then why was this not taken up… Now during the Lok Sabha election, why is Siddaramaiah in such a hurry, when Dy CM DK Shivakumar opposes this caste census…”, Karnataka BJP chief BY Vijayendra said while speaking to media.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Minister and Congress leader Dinesh Gundu Rao said that Whether the report is good or bad, can only decided after the report is given.
“…We are saying that there should be a caste census to know, what is the status, socio-economic status of each and every community and each and every caste. What is the education situation and the economic situation. All these have to be studied. Without a scientific report, how can we make any decision? If you have to do some specific programs to help backward classes, scheduled castes, minorities…Whether the report is good or bad, it can be decided after the report is given,” he said. (ANI)