The Mysuru district president of the Akhila Bharatha Veerashaiva Mahasabha, Hinkal Basavaraj, has pledged the support of the Veerashaiva community in the district to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
A video has emerged from Siddaramaiah’s meeting with the Veerashaiva community in the district on Friday, and Basavaraj can be seen supporting him here.
“We have to ensure CM Siddaramaiah’s victory in Chamundeshwari, in the same way Lord Ram cannot be defeated. Siddaramaiah knows our issues and we know the way he works. To resolve our issues, we should form a friendship with Siddaramaiah and Congress, and only when they win, our land will prosper,” he said.
He also quoted Basavanna: “Ivanaarava Ivanaarava Ivanaarava (Whose is he?)”, and he pointed at Siddaramaiah to say “Ivanammava Ivanammava Ivanammava (He is ours).”
However, Basavaraj’s words were not welcomed by everyone in the community. An emergency meeting chaired by several senior leaders to discuss the future of Basavaraj and three other office bearers who were with him in the meeting with the CM.
Earlier, in March, the ruling Congress government under the helm of Siddaramaiah recommended a separate religion status for Lingayats and Veerashaivas who follow Basava Tatva. It also accorded minority status to the Lingayat community.
In the process, the state government rejected a separate proposal seeking to make the Veerashaiva community a separate religion. Veerashaiva leaders were reportedly miffed with the state’s decision to accept the Lingayat community’s demands and reject their demands.
Puttabudhdhi, member of the state-level committee of the Veerashaiva Mahasabha said, “People of the community are united in the old Mysuru region. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who is trying to divide the community, will be taught a lesson. Members of the community can identify themselves with any party or leader, but they cannot extend their support to a party on behalf of the entire community,” he told Deccan Chronicle.