Belagavi: A meeting of Lingayat leaders including representatives of noted Lingayat maths in Belagavi has attributed the failure of BJP state president B.S. Yeddyurappa to remain chief minister to his refusal to support the movement of Lingayats for separate religion tag.
“Yeddyurappa would have remained CM if he had supported the Lingayat movement. He missed the chance as he refused to lead the movement. It is something he brought on himself,'' said Siddharama Swami of Nagnur Rudrakshi Math, who spearheaded the campaign for separate religion tag. He was speaking at a programme organised in Belagavi by Jagatika Lingayat Mahasabha on Sunday to felicitated Lingayat MLAs.
Stating that Lingayat leaders and seers met Yeddyurappa a year prior to the launch of the agitation for a separate Lingayat religion appealing to him to lead the movement, the swamy said Yeddyurappa did not agree and sang a different tune. “I feel that if he had supported the movement, he would have easily become the CM. The BJP would have won 10-15 more seats,'' the seer said.
The Swami claimed that recommending separate religion status for Lingayats had helped the Congress electorally. “If electoral history is any indication, the Congress in Karnataka should have been reduced to 40 seats in 2018, like the BJP in 2013. But the Congress -that battled anti-incumbency won 79 seats. This shows that Lingayats supported the party,'' he observed. He warned the BJP that if it wanted the support of Lingayats in the Lok Sabha polls of 2019, it would have to support the demand for separate religion....