BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa was signatory to petition demanding separate religion for Lingayats

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The Karnataka government’s decision to accord an independent religion status to the state’s powerful Lingayat community has kicked off a huge political storm just before the crucial elections. The BJP’s has sensationally alleged that the Congress government was trying to divide the Hindu community to stay in power.

Lingayat
File Photo: News18

The saffron party’s general secretary in Karnataka, CT Ravi, wrote, “The idea of #BreakingIndia by dividing Hindu Religion is the brainchild of Sonia Gandhi which has been cunningly executed by @siddaramaiah who is an expert in “Divide & Rule” policy. As #CongressDividesHindus to install an Incompetent Dynast as PM the Nation continues to suffer.”

However, Ravi’s claims were exposed by Congress supporter Srivatsa, who posted the letter written by All India Lingayat-Veerashaiva Mahasabha asking that the Lingayat community be recognised as an ‘independent religion.’ Among those who had signed the letter to the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was BS Yeddyurappa, the BJP’s chief ministerial face.

Srivatsa wrote, “Even Karnataka BJP President Yeddyurappa had signed on the demand to accord Lingayats an independent religion status. True to his nature, he has done an u-Turn now.”

The new revelation has brought the role of All India Lingayat-Veerashaiva Mahasabha, which recently opposed the Karnataka government’s recognition of Lingayats as a new religion, under scrutiny. The Mahasabha will have its executive meeting on 23 March in Bengaluru to decide its next course of action. The same Mahasabha had written to the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking for a new religion status for Lingayats.

Many analysts believe that by according a religious minority status to Lingayats who form nearly 20 percent of the state’s population, the Siddaramaiah government may have checkmated the BJP.

Nearly two lakh Lingayats had taken to streets last year demanding the recognition of a separate religion for them.

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