BJP leaders too endorse Lingayat plea, claims Seer

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) top brass in the State were desisting from participating in Lingayat rally following directions from party National President Amit Shah. They however, have expressed solidarity with the movement in private," said Siddharam Swamiji of Rudrakshimath Naganur.

Ahead of Lingayat Maha Rally slated November 5 at Nehru Ground, in Hubballi, briefing reporters here, on Monday, Siddharam Swamiji, among those spearheading the movement seeking for constitutional status for Lingayat, said BJP top leaders have abstained from rallies but workers, second line leaders have actively participated.

Promoting Hindutva

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and political wing BJP of Sangha Parivar, working with Hindutva philosophy, are apprehensive that population of Hindus would reduce if accorded independent religious status and are refusing the community its due, he said.

When Amit Shah, a Jain, is promoting Hindutva in country with great diversity of religion, language, culture, tradition, why cannot BJP community leaders speak in the interest of community. It was the party diktat which was hindering them and urged them to openly express solidarity to the apolitical movement and not promote their political career, he stated.

Unique religion

Seer said it was indisputable fact that Lingayat was unique religion which celebrates caste and gender equality contrary to Vedic philosophy, its rituals and practices that promotes caste and class system.

Maharashtra government has already recommended according religious tag to Lingayat, but since Veerashivas, a sub-section in Lingayat, were opposing and created a controversy. Several judgments of Supreme Court have held that Lingayat was separate religion. The Jains, who were given independent religious status off late, had sought following Hindu marriage code in absence and until separate marriage code was framed.

Lingayat was already a separate religion only constitutional status was being sought. If accorded independent status it would flourish turning into most excepted religion.

He said around 5 lakh people are expected to take part in the rally held on November 5 at Hubballi for which preparation are being done on war footing.

Belagavi rally had been a great success. The movement would continue until a the purpose was achieved.

Religious debate

He clarified the movement was not fueled by any Congress party stating that Shamnur Shivashankarappa, a former minister was himself opposed.

The seer also said Pejawar Seer, who is presently at rest and holding paryraya, would be enlightened and convinced about the uniqueness of Lingayat religion holding a debate in January.

Pancham Shivalingeshwar Swamiji of Nidasosi, Minister Vinay Kulkarni were present.

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