Hyderabad: The Congress in Karnataka has recommended separate religious status for Lingayats ahead of elections in that state. The community leaders warned that any split would be so damaging that marriages between Veerashaiva and Lingayats will no longer be acceptable.
TRS MLC Karne Prabhakar said, “I appeal to the Veerashaiva Lingayat community in Telangana not to fall prey to Karnataka politics, where attempts are being made to divide Veerashaiva Lingayats into Veerashaiva and Lingayats. Here in Telangana, Ve-erashaiva Lingayats are one. Attempts are being made to divide the community by some vested interests and this should be ignored in TS.”
The TRS government hasn’t taken the Karnataka development seriously because the community’s numbers are small, unlike in Karnataka where Lingayats call the shots politically.
“The Congress is enco-uraging the spilt only for political gains. This should not be followed by the Veerashaiva Lingayat community in Telangana. The community must stay united,” said M. Shivakumar, VLF state general secretary.
B.B. Patil of the TRS, who is an MP from Zaheerabad, is chairman of the Veerashaiva Lingayat Federation and Karne Prabhakar, TRS MLC is Advisor. Veerashaiva Lingayats are also called Balija, Linga Balija and are spread across Telangana with a total population of around 15 lakh.
They are mostly in Hyderabad, old Medak district, Ranga Reddy, Mahbubnagar, Karimnagar, Nalgonda, Warangal, and Nizamabad districts. Ve-erashaiva Lingayats were categorised as BCs by the Congress government under Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy and listed in Group D....