‘We will support him’: First woman Lingayat seer Mate Mahadevi and Forum for Lingayat Mathadipathis endorses Siddaramaiah

Who is Amit Shah to speak about giving minority tag to Lingayats let PM answer Seers
news Religion Saturday, April 07, 2018 - 19:44

In a massive show of support to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, several Lingayat seers openly endorsed him following a meeting of the Forum for Lingayat Mathadipathis in Bengaluru, on Saturday.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, the seers said that they “have the support of Siddaramaiah who has backed their demand for a separate minority religion”.

“Siddaramaiah has supported us, we will support him. The BJP is lying and misleading people. We have asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce his decision on minority status by April 18,” Mate Mahadevi told the media.

Speaking to TNM, Mate Mahadevi praised Siddaramaiah, stating that he has “done extensive work for Lingayats”.

“The demand for a separate minority religion has been there for decades. Leaders have come and gone but Chief Minister Siddaramaiah took all measures within his powers to ensure that we are granted minority status. That is why I said all Lingayats should support him,” she added.

Mate Mahadevi said that the deadline for the centre to respond has been set as April 18, Basava Jayanthi. She said that Amit Shah had “no authority to speak on the issue” and said that Prime Minister Modi must answer to their demands.

“He spoke without any authority on the issue and he got caught in his own lies. We do not give him any importance. First, he (Amit Shah) lied that the state government’s memorandum had not reached the Centre, and then he lied and said he will not approve the demand. Who gave him the authority to do so? His lies will only end up creating false impressions in people’s minds,” she said.

When asked if her endorsement was to ensure that the Lingayat votes would be cast in favour of the Congress, Mate Mahadevi said that her “support was only because Siddaramaiah had help the Lingayat community”.

“Everyone can vote for whomever they want. I asked them to support Siddaramaiah because he has helped us a lot. Yes, it is true that there is talk about Siddaramaiah dumping the issue on the Centre. But that is protocol right? How can this come through without the Centre’s approval? If states had the power to do so by themselves, then we would not be struggling so much now,” she added.

Jayamruthyunjaya Swami of the Kudalasangama Mutt said that Amit Shah was not an expert to determine whether Lingayats and Veerashaivas must be separated.

“Who is Amit Shah to say that?” he said.

Shivamurthy Murugarajendra Swami of the Murugarajendra Mutt, who had submitted a letter to Amit Shah, asking him for the Centre’s nod on their demand said, “We will support those who support us.”

When asked specifically if it means he is supporting CM Siddaramaiah, he said, “You can say that.”

Such show of support from some of the most revered Lingayat seers in North Karnataka ahead of the state assembly elections, has not been seen since the time of former Chief Minister Veerendra Patil, Congress insiders say.

The BJP however believes that a certain section of Lingayats and Veershaivas are unhappy at the division, and they would reject the Congress.

Siddaramaiah's cabinet, had in March, granted Lingayats and Veerashaivas following Basava Tatva minority status. The order from the Department of Minority Affairs was sent for the Centre's Approval.

On Monday, Amit Shah had said that the Centre would not accept the demand as it had "no intention of breaking the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community".




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