'Sidelined,' Lingayats threaten stir

 The All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha on Sunday said that it would be forced to take up an agitation against the Congress and the State government if Lingayats continue to be “sidelined.”

The Mahasabha, in a press release signed by its secretary K N Jayalingappa, has expressed displeasure that no Lingayat candidate figured in the Congress’ list of nominations to the Rajya Sabha and Legislative Council.

The Mahasabha is the apex body of Veerashaivas. Congress leader and Horticulture Minister in Siddaramaiah’s Cabinet, Shamanur Shivashankarappa, is the president of the Mahasabha.

The release stated that the Congress had been sidelining the Lingayats. No Lingayat candidate was among the four who were unanimously elected to the Council from the Assembly and two to the Rajya Sabha. Besides, no Lingayat was among the five shortlisted for direct nominations to the Council. 

“It seems the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president G Parameshwara and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah have not learnt from the drubbing their party received in the Lok Sabha polls.

It will prove costly for the party if appeasement of Ahinda (minorities, backward classes and dalits) continues at the cost of forward communities,” the release stated.

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