Bengaluru: Alleging that the rival group led by Water Resources Minister M.B. Patil was on a misinformation campaign, a senior leader of the Veerashaiva Lingayats said on Thursday that they had decided not to attend the meeting convened by him to discuss the issue of a separate religion status for the community.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, an office bearer of the Akhila Bharatiya Veerashaiva Mahasabha (ABVM), N. Thippanna said that after discussing the pros and cons, the executive committee that met in the city on Thursday had asked its president, vice president and others not to attend the meeting convened by Mr Patil. “However, if they come to us, we are open for a discussion,” he added.
Alleging that the rival group was on a misinformation campaign, Mr Thippanna contended that the Centre had not rejected the proposal submitted in 2013 by the Mahasabha for a separate religious status.
“A few leaders have been misleading people by saying that the Centre may have approved the proposal if it had pitched for a Lingayat religion.They don’t know that we had given a memorandum stating very clearly that the demand was for recognition of “Veerashaiva Lingayats” as a separate religious community and it was not rejected as claimed. It is still pending with the Centre because when it was taken up to be processed, the general elections were announced in 2014. So we are now depending on the BJP leaders to consider it. We cannot do anything without their cooperation,” he said.
The ABVM’s decision could drive a deeper wedge in the community, a section of which is unwilling to see Veerashaivas as part of the Lingayat dharma. With this latest development the battle for religious status that was revived in June this year looks all set to get more complicated....