BENGALURU/ KALABURAGI: In deciding to recommend religious minority status for the numerically strong and politically influential Lingayat and Veerashaiva Lingayat communities, the state Cabinet on Monday lobbed the contentious issue into the Centre’s court.
The Cabinet decision was slammed, with the BJP accusing Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of “playing with fire” for vote bank politics and carrying on with the ‘Divide and Rule’ legacy of Britishers in India.
The BJP has been thrown off balance as it’s chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa hails from the community and the government’s decision is being seen by the saffron party as the Congress’ tactical manouvre to wean away Lingayat voters, who strongly backed Mr. Yeddyurappa in past polls.
Sri Veera Someshwara Shivacharya Swami of Rambhapuri Peetha of Balehonnur, one of the seers heading the Veerashaiva camps, condemned the Cabinet decision. He alleged that the recommendation may have been accepted following the “conspiracy of a few people,” but that Veerashaivas together will fight against it and are planning legal recourse.