Govt orders forming Karnataka Veerashaiva-Lingayat Corporation with a fund of Rs 500 crore

In a big dole, the B S Yediyurappa administration on Monday allocated Rs 500 crore to the newly-established Karnataka Veerashaiva-Lingayat Development Corporation.

The move is seen as Yediyurappa’s attempt to consolidate the community’s support amid talks of a change in leadership. Yediyurappa is a Lingayat.

The Veerashaiva-Lingayat community is estimated to form about 16% of the state’s population and is considered to be the BJP’s core support base.

According to a government order, the initial cost of setting up the new corporation will be borne by the Backward Classes Welfare department. It will be reimbursed by the Veerashaiva-Lingayat Development Corporation later.

The new corporation was first announced on November 17 amid pressure from a section of Lingayat BJP legislators. They asked for a corporation to be set up for the dominant community days after Yediyurappa ordered the establishment of the Maratha Development Corporation, leading to controversy. The CM ordered Rs 50 crore to be set aside for the Maratha body.

But the non-budgetary allocation of Rs 500 crore for the Veerashaiva-Lingayat corporation came as a surprise, especially in a year of financial stress. The allocation also came in the wake of rumours that the BJP central leadership was considering a change in leadership, which the party has consistently denied.

As per the government order, the new Veerashaiva-Lingayat corporation will be registered under the Companies Act. The procedures involved in setting up the new company will be helmed by the Backward Classes Welfare commissioner until a managing director is appointed, the order stated.

The order was issued after the Finance department, headed by Yediyurappa, gave its concurrence on the same day.

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