The statement comes in the wake of the ruling Congress countering BJP’s charge of ‘divisive politics’ by invoking a memorandum that BS Yeddyurappa had purportedly signed.

BS Yeddyurappa denies supporting Lingayat movement in 2013
news Karnataka 2018 Thursday, March 22, 2018 - 16:48

In a bid to clarify his position on the controversy surrounding separate religion tag to Lingayats, former Karnataka CM BS Yeddyurappa has categorically denied that he had previously supported delinking Veerashaivas and Lingayats from Hinduism.

This comes in the wake of media reports highlighting that he had supported a 2013 memorandum by the All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha seeking the same.

The memorandum had demanded a "separate Code number/Column/Abbreviation for recording the religion of the Veerashaiva-Lingayath" in the Census form, according to media reports.

"I have never signed any document seeking separate status for Veerashaiva-Lingayats. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is the one playing with people's emotions and using it for political gain ahead of the elections," the BJP’s chief ministerial face and the Lingayat strongman told the press.

He also mentioned how even Congress cabinet ministers are opposed to the decision.

Read: Lingayat and Veerashaivas are same: Karnataka minister protests 'one-sided' decision

The statement comes in the wake of the ruling Congress countering BJP’s charge of ‘divisive politics’ by invoking a memorandum that BS Yeddyurappa had purportedly signed. The memorandum which was submitted to the erstwhile UPA-II government was rejected. The Congress also had used the memorandum to say that the BJP is "spineless" to make a decision.

Yeddyurappa’s support to the 2013 memorandum was also highlighted by certain section of the media.

Yeddyurappa who is usually bombastic in his criticism of the Congress government had a rather moderate initial response to this move by the Siddaramaiah government, while the BJP compared Siddaramaiah to the likes of British and Mughal rulers.

They day after the decision was taken, Yeddyurappa had said, “From the beginning, we have said that the All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha will take final decision on this.”

He dismissed the state government’s move saying, “Siddaramaiah has taken some decision on it. I will give reaction only after the Mahasabha makes a decision on it.”

The BJP from the start had alleged that the conversation on separate religion status was an election ploy of the Congress.

The Lingayats are traditionally considered to be a vote bank for the BJP especially in the northern districts of the state close to Maharashtra.  

Yeddyurappa who is a Lingayat and crucial to consolidation of the all important LIngayat votes cannot openly oppose the right of separate identity to the sect. Neither can he bat for it, as it will go against the RSS line of ‘unifying all Hindus’.

Also read: K’taka govt approves separate Lingayat religion: Cong’s masterstroke or massive gamble?

 

 

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