KPCC not to give ticket to candidates changing caste
BANGALORE, OCT. 14. The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) has decided not to give party ticket to candidates who change their castes to become eligible to contest the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike election.
``The KPCC condemns the idea of conversions just for the purpose of contesting polls. We have decided not to give ticket to such aspirants,'' the KPCC President, Mr. Allum Veerabhadrappa, told The Hindu on Sunday.
In the wake of the increasing number of conversions to Buddhism for the purpose of contesting the polls under the BC(A) category, the KPCC had decided not to entertain such aspirants, he said.
He said the KPCC believed in honouring the rule of law and the roster of reservation. ``We do not want to deprive the candidates (who belong to BC-A category by birth) of a chance to contest the polls, especially when they have reservation,'' he said.
Making it clear that the Congress had high regard for Buddhism, Mr. Veerbhadrappa said anyone was welcome to follow any religion. ``But it should not be done just for political purposes,'' he said.
``Any popular secular political party, which is interested in honouring the roster of reservation should not give ticket to aspirants who have converted at the last minute,'' he said.
He said the KPCC would gather opinion from its poll observers before selecting its candidates. Only such candidates who were popular in a particular ward and were capable of winning would be allowed to contest, he said.
In wards which were reserved for the BC(A) category, party ticket would be given only to those who belonged to the BC(A) category from the last 10 years, he said.
When asked about the conversion to Buddhism by the Mayor, Ms. Prema Cariappa in 1996 to contest the last BMP polls, he said, ``The past is past. We will ensure that such instances will not repeat. We are committed to provide social justice to all communities.''
BC Forum's plea
Meanwhile, the Karnataka State Backward Classes United Forum (KSBCUF) has appealed to all political parties not to give ticket to aspirants who change their religion at the last minute only to contest the polls.
The Forum, comprising over 40 backward classes associations, has also demanded a CoD probe into such conversions. All the Government officers, who were involved in issuing caste certificates to candidates to enable them to contest the polls, should be warned not to do so, failing which they should be suspended, the Forum President, Mr. J.Srinivasan, and the General Secretary, Mr. B.K.Ravi, said here on Sunday.
Referring to the recent trend of changing castes among aspirants just to become eligible to contest the polls, the Forum members said such last minute changes would only deprive the genuine candidates belonging to BC(A) category of their rights.
The Forum has also appealed to the Chief Minister, Mr. S.M.Krishna, to intervene immediately and direct the officers, including tahsildars, not to issue certificates to people who had converted after the announcement of dates for the polls.
On the recent spurt in conversions to Buddhism, Mr. Ravi said it was against norms of social justice. ``Over 40 people have already converted. They should be stopped from contesting the polls, otherwise the very purpose of reservation will not be served,'' he said.
Demanding the arrest of all those who have converted to contest the ensuing polls, Mr. Ravi said the Forum was also approaching the court in this matter.
The Forum members would stage a dharna in front of all the tahsildars' and deputy commissioners' offices on Tuesday, he added.