Belagavi: Former Member of Parliament and a prominent Lingayat leader, Suresh Angadi claimed on Saturday that the recent mammoth rally organised by Lingayats here to demand a separate religious tag was sponsored by the Congress for its own political ends.
Explaining that he did not attend the convention as it was “typical of a Congress event with all participants wearing its traditional caps,” Mr Angadi said that the party was only looking to destabilise the country by encouraging such divisive movements.
“The recent Ek Maratha Lakh Maratha movement in Maharashtra and the Jhat rally are nothing but Congress-sponsored events organised to gain political mileage,” Mr Angadi charged.
Accusing Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of misleading Lingayats in the state, he said that the BJP had not prevented any of its leaders from attending the rally in Belagavi, but being a “pakka Hindu” first, he was not able to understand what its objective was.
“The organisers clarify their stand to the rest of the community,” Mr Angadi added.
Not just Mr Angadi all Lingayat leaders from the BJP, including its state chief, B S Yeddyurappa, were conspicuous by their absence at the recent convention.
Mr Angadi said that although he had stayed away from the Lingayat rally, he had helped the organisers hire the Lingaraj College ground for it, but was still not invited to attend.
Calling most of the seers at the Lingayat convention Congress loyalists, he suggested that instead of holding such a rally, experts, advocates, seers and other leaders should come together and discuss what needed to be done.
Also, questioning retired IAS Officer , S M Jamdar’s contribution to the Lingayat community, he argued he could have helped it as Revenue Secretary in the Deve Gowda government in the country.