Centre rejected minority tag for Lingayats, ASG to HC

The Union government has rejected the recommendation of the Karnataka government to grant religious minority status to the Lingayat and Veerashaiva community. DH file photo

The Union government has rejected the recommendation of the Karnataka government to grant religious minority status to the Lingayat and Veerashaiva community.

This was informed by Additional Solicitor General Prabhuling Navadgi to the Karnataka High Court that was hearing a batch of petitions challenging the process initiated by the state to grant religious minority status to the community during December 2017.

Following this, a division bench comprising of Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice S Sujatha disposed of the petitions.

Navadgi also placed a communication dated November 13, 2018, addressed to the Karnataka government about the rejection by the Central government

The Union government, in its letter dated November 13, 2018, addressed to the state has reiterated the earlier take of the Centre that Lingayat community has always been classified under the Hindus since 1871 census, the first official Census in India and that Lingayat is considered as a religious sect of Hindus.

The Centre has also stated that all members of scheduled castes (SC) professing Lingayat/ Veerashaiva religion would lose their status as SC if it is treated as a separate religion. 

The high court in the earlier hearings had stated that the process initiated by the state will be subject to the result of the writ petitions.

Thereafter the Karnataka State Minorities Commission had constituted a seven-member panel to look into the demand of a minority status to Lingayats. The committee had then submitted a report on March 2, 2018, favouring a minority tag to the communities.

Following this, the Karnataka Minorities Welfare Department notified the Lingayats and Veerashaiva Lingayats as a religious minority but said that it would come into effect only after the Centre’s approval to the state’s recommendation.

Following this the state government wrote to the Union government in March 2018, recommending it to accord the minority status to Lingayat/ Veerashiva community.

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Centre rejected minority tag for Lingayats, ASG to HC

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