Veerashaiva and Lingayat are same, reiterates Khandre

Minister for Municipal Administration Eshwar Khandre on Friday reiterated that both Veerashaiva and Lingayat faiths are one and the same and expressed hope that leaders on both sides will soon shun their differences.

Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, Khandre maintained that 'Veerashaiva' and 'Lingayat' are not different. "The words Lingayat and Veerashaiva are synonymous. While the word Veerashaiva is used in literature, Lingayat is used in common parlance," he said, adding that the demand for an independent religion status for the Veerashaiva-Lingayat still stands.

Khandre has been caught in a row with Water Resources Minister M B Patil over the Veerashaiva-Lingayat religion issue. Stressing upon the fact that Lingayats were different from Veerashaivas, Patil has been championing the cause for a separate religious status for the Lingayat community.

Khandre, who is also the Bidar district-in-charge minister, said that the BJP's Nava Karnataka Nirmana Parivartan Yatra in the district had turned out to a be damp squib.

"More than half the chairs were empty during the rally. The Congress will win all the six constituencies in the district," he added. Khandre said that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah would arrive in Bidar on December 13 to launch his state-wide tour from Basavakalyana in the district.

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