Hubballi: Home minister M.B. Patil contended on Monday that the BJP had insulted the Lingayats, who had backed it these Lok Sabha polls, by not inducting not even one member of the community in the Union cabinet.
Speaking to reporters in Vijayapur, he argued that the Lingayat MP from Belagavi, Suresh Angadi, who was merely made a minister of state, had been sidelined in government formation. Claiming that he would have rejected the position if he was in his place, the Congress leader, who was at the forefront of the movement for independent religion status for Lingayats, urged the community to understand the injustice done to them by the BJP.
“The Lingayats will not tolerate this injustice as they have sent 10 MPs to the Lok Sabha from the state. Both Pralhad Joshi and Suresh Angadi are experienced politicians, who have become MPs for the fourth time. But Joshi has been made Cabinet rank minister and Angadi, minister of state and that too without independent charge,” Mr. Patil regretted. Asked about reports of a Cabinet expansion in the state, he said it was left to the Congress high command to decide. Denying that the Congress debacle in the LS poll was due to its tie-up with JD(S) for them, he pointed out that the party had been defeated in Rajasthan and MP too, where there was no such alliance. “The Pulwama and Balakot incidents have impacted the parliamentary elections. Otherwise, it is difficult to understand why the Congress won such few seats,” he added.