Hubballi: Lingayat issue resurfaces as Lok Sabha polls approach

Lingayats are upset with the Centre\'s move to reject the proposal for independent religion status.

Update: 2019-03-12 21:21 GMT
Siddaramaiah

Hubballi: The Lingayat movement appears to be resurfacing with both the Congress and BJP  trying to woo the community once again for the approaching Lok Sabha elections.

While Congress leaders like former Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah and minister D K Shivakumar have admitted that support for the Lingayat movement for an independent religious status, had cost the party in the May 2018 Assembly poll, others like minister M B Patil have continued their signature campaign for it.

Rambhapuri seer Sri Veerasomeshwara Shivacharya Swamiji, who led the movement against independent religion status, however, warned that any fresh campaign to divide the community could badly impact on the Congress in the elections. “Some Congress leaders are trying to divide the community, but revival of the movement for minority tag will only boomerang on the Congress,” he warned.

On the other hand, Jaya Mrithyunjaya Swamiji of the Kudala Sangam Panchamasali Peetha  warned that the Mahasabha would support BJP candidates in the Lok Sabha elections only if they promised to pursue the community's demand for a minority tag.

"Lingayats are upset with the Centre's move to reject the proposal for independent religion status. They will relent only if the BJP candidates bring pressure on the Centre to revoke its decision after they are elected,” he told Deccan Chronicle.

The Jagathika Lingayat Mahasabha is meanwhile, knocking on the doors of the courts to give the community an independent religion status and seers and Lingayat leaders have been holding workshops to create awareness about it with a warning to the Centre that rejecting the proposal could cost it these polls.

But Veerashaiva leaders are as always, working hard to oppose the demand for a minority tag for the community.

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