CM is brain behind Lingayat religion struggle: Shettar

CM is brain behind Lingayat religion struggle: Shettar

Leader of Opposition in Legislative Assembly Jagadish Shettar charged that the movement seeking independent religion status for the Lingayat is politically-motivated and is becoming Congress-sponsored, with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah being the brain behind it.

"This struggle began after the BJP announced B S Yeddyurappa as the chief ministerial candidate. The struggle is aimed at dividing Lingayat votes, and therefore, Congress leaders are in the forefront of this struggle and BJP is being targeted in its conventions. Caste politics and election politics are behind this," he said.

Mr Shettar told media persons here on Monday that he would have supported the struggle if it was done with honesty and proper consultations were done before launching the struggle.

We have an information that there is no provision in the Constitution to declare a new religion. If benefits are needed, minority tag would have been sought. But, they are demanding independent religion status, just to divide the society, as Chief Minister Siddaramaiah would not have entertained the demand for minority tag alone, he charged.

They are in a hurry, and are asking the chief minister to send the proposal to the Union Government in January itself, before the model code of conduct for Assembly elections comes into force. This is a plan to blame Prime Minister Narendra Modi later. Why this demand was not highlighted in last four years, and why it is being brought to limelight when elections are near? Instead, the State Government itself could have accorded backward classes status to the community, as done in Andhra Pradesh, Mr Shettar noted.

Is it a struggle to get independent religion status, or is against people like Dr Prabhakar Kore, some Virakta Mutts and Panchapeethas? Water Resources Minister M B Patil should not have been individually targeted KLE Society Chairman Prabhakar Kore, who is the elected chief of that society, and how can he ask Dr Kore to step down. Ministers took oath to be secular and neutral in issues of religion, and how they are with the struggle related to religion? Will Mr Patil resign from the post of minister, as he is not working on issues that he is supposed to work, Mr Shettar asked, adding that people are being misguided in the name of independent religion.

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