Politicians should shun from Lingayat religion issue: MLC Shettar

Alleging that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, ministers Vinay Kulkarni and M B Patil, and others are playing politics and are dividing the society with regard to the demand for independent religion status for Lingayats, MLC Pradeep Shettar asked why they were bringing this issue to the fore just when the Assembly elections are nearing.

"Instead of focusing on developmental works, for which people have voted politicians, District In-charge Minister Vinay Kulkarni is wandering like a seer, speaking about Lingayatism issue everywhere," Mr Pradeep blamed.

Speaking to media persons here on Tuesday, he noted that Mr Kulkarni could have conducted a review meeting of officials regarding the development of the twin cities, instead of attending a meeting on Lingayat separate religion issue in the City recently.

Sri Shivakumar Swamiji of Tumakuru Siddhaganga Mutt has already clarified that Veerashaiva and Lingayat are the same, and there is no need to question this as he is the supreme seer, only next to Basavanna, Mr Pradeep said.

Moreover, he said, the seers are there to ponder over this issue, and politicians should not intervene in it. People of all communities have voted for the people's representatives to work for the development, and not to speak about religion. We have to just follow the opinion of seers in religious matters, he added.

He also stated that it is not correct to open a branch office of Rashtriya Basava Sena, at Moorusavira Mutt premises in the City.

Pension grants, bad roads
Mr Pradeep charged that District In-charge Minister Vinay Kulkarni has failed to get the Rs 137 crore pending pension grants released to the Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC), though several memoranda were submitted and protests were staged. The minister has also failed in attending serious problems which are haunting the twin cities and the district, he charged.

He said, most of the roads in the twin cities are in a very pathetic condition, and the officials are showing negligence in repairing them. Mr Kulkarni is not conducting review meetings also. He has no control over the officials, though he has the responsibility to make them work and execute the developmental works. He is also not serious about the problems being created due to BRTS and UGD works, and the problems arising due to rains, the MLC lamented.

He pointed out that most of the main roads were being developed under the Central Road Fund (CRF), but the State Government is delaying the process of calling tenders for these works.

He noted that if Rs 137 crore pending HDMC pension grants are reimbursed to the HDMC, the same could be used to develop all the interior roads. "People are blaming us for poor condition of roads, which is an evidence for the failure of Mr Vinay Kulkarni," Mr Pradeep added.

He also lamented that the people's representatives were not informed about the postponement of the review meeting which was scheduled to be held on Tuesday (October 3).

BJP rural district unit President Eeranna Jadi charged that Mr Kulkarni has not responded to the demands like proper disbursement of amount under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), and distributions of seeds at subsidised rates for the Rabi season. BJP leaders Nagesh Kalburgi, Tippanna Majjagi, and others were present.

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