‘Cong has nothing to do with Lingayat issue’

‘Cong has nothing to do with Lingayat issue’

M B Patil

Home Minister M B Patil said that the Congress party had nothing to do with the Lingayat movement and that the statements issued by a few leaders were their own views.

Speaking to mediapersons here on Sunday, he said, “The issue of separate religion status for Lingayat is a struggle for our individual identity and Congress has no role in it.”

To a query on Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar’s comment that the demand for separate religion tag for Lingayat was a mistake and is a closed chapter, Patil said he had already reacted on the matter. He said, “Lingayat issue was never a Congress issue. It was not an issue during Assembly election nor in this election,” he said.

When asked whether the state would press for minority status for Lingayats if the Congress party comes to power at the Centre, he remained non-committal.

The Siddaramaiah-led Congress government had recommended the Union government for minority status to Lingayats. The Congress in the state had been accusing the Modi government of derailing the movement by rejecting the demand. It had become a major poll issue in 2018. Now, most of the Congress leaders from the Lingayat community are disowning the movement.

On entrepreneur Som Dutta threatening to initiate legal action against Congress spokesperson Brijesh Kalappa over the release of an audio clip, he said he was not aware of the twitter war between Dutta and Kalappa. “If the victim lodges a complaint, the police will take necessary action,” he said.