On Sep 10, Water Resources Minister MB Patil had said the mutt also supported their claim of Lingayats and Veerashaivas not being the same.

Siddhaganga seer retracts demand for separate religion for Lingayats Did RSS have a handRepresentational Image/PTI
news Politics Friday, September 15, 2017 - 18:44

A set of politicians supporting the call for a separate religion for Lingayats has alleged intervention from the RSS in coercing Siddhaganga Mutt seer Shivakumara Swami to withdraw support for the cause.

They also stood firm on the statement made on September 10 by Water Resources Minister MB Patil, which said the mutt also supported their claim of Lingayats and Veerashaivas not being the same, following a meeting between the seer and the minister. However, MB Patil’s version was rejected by the mutt which issued a statement saying that the Swami had asked both the groups to unite.

“While we do not question the authority and supremacy of the seer as it is his discretion to change or modify his stand, this is a conspiracy by the Sangh Parivar. Prior to the developments, a politician (referring to BS Yeddyurappa) had said in the media to wait for two days and see. We do not know if he meant this,” the group members said on Thursday.

The speakers included senior politicians—Mining Minister Vinay Kulkarni, Aland MLA BR Patil and JD(S) MLC Basavaraj Horatti.

“Sangh Parivar leaders from Delhi have pressurised him. The ones who sent Yeddyurappa to jail are the ones who have hatched this conspiracy. That is why the seer changed his stand,” BR Patil said.

Kulkarni said that the mutt was misused by political leaders and it was ‘not right’.

“The timing of Somanna’s visit to the mutt and Yeddyurappa’s statement saying we should wait for two days to see what happens is noteworthy. No political leader should misuse the mutt. This is not right,” the minister said.

This comes after Basava Dharma Peeta president Mate Mahadevi alleged that the top seer was coerced with the promise of Bharat Ratna from the Centre.

Speaking on this, political analyst, Professor Muzaffar Assadi said, “If MB Patil's version is taken into account, then why is there is a sudden U-turn by the seer? The seer should make it clear if there is any pressure on him. And if the pressure is from outside or within. His position has a larger effect on the community.”

Emphasising on the significance of the issue in the upcoming elections, he said, “It is obvious that any hue and cry about the religion has a political dividend to it. The Congress has much to gain if the Lingayats remain firm on a separate religion.”


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