Belagavi: The BJP , which is at loggerheads with the Lingayats over the issue of a separate religious tag for the community, is now reportedly hoping to appease it by inducting three time MP from Belagavi and a Lingayat, Suresh Angadi, into the Union cabinet.
Although the businessman turned MP from Belagavi does not enjoy much of a mass following in the community, he could be inducted into the Union cabinet by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to build bridges with it following the party's recent fallout with it over the issue of a separate religious tag for it, according to sources.
The BJP has been trying to find ways to reach out to the Lingayats, who play a decisive role in most Lok Sabha constituencies in North Karnataka, following their recent rallies to demand a separate religious status that it has been boycotting. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh(RSS) 's advice to the community against breaking away from Hinduism has not gone down well with it either. On the other hand, the Congress has been wholeheartedly backing the demand, winning it brownie points with the Lingayats.
The situation is clearly not to the liking of the BJP with elections to the state assembly looming. As a last resort it is now hoping the induction of a Lingayat MP into the Union cabinet will help it win over the community, whose votes it has relied on for long thanks to its state chief, B S Yeddyurappa, who hails from it.
Should he be inducted, Mr Angadi could be the first Union Minister from Belagavi after Babagouda Patil, who was Agriculture Minister in the Vajpayee government.
While BJP MPs, Prabhakar Kore and Pralhad Joshi from Belagavi, have also been called to Delhi along with Mr Angadi ahead of the Cabinet reshuffle, the businessman- turned- politician is most likely to be the Prime Minister's choice, said sources....