Faith tag not a poll issue for Congress: MB Patil

M B Patil

Minister M B Patil said on Monday that the Congress would not use the separate religion for Lingayats as an issue (weapon) in the elections. 

However, Shamanur Shivashankarappa, BJP leaders B S Yeddyurappa, Jagadish Shettar, Basavaraj Bommai and others were signatories to a resolution in the past on declaring the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community as a separate religion, Patil said in a chat with DH.

Noting that all those residing in the country were Hindus, he said they were not opposed to Hinduism and its rituals. The minister said the movement for a separate religion status would continue even after the elections.

The minister claimed that Lingayat had been identified as a separate faith in the past. But it lost its status because of an error committed by a dewan of the Mysore kingdom.

Seeking to turn the tables on the BJP, he said the Congress would seek votes on the strength of its development works in the last five years. It was the saffron party which was raising the separate religion issue and the same would prove beneficial to the Congress, Patil said.

When asked about the seers of the Panchapeethas campaigning against him in his Babaleshwar constituency, the minister said it was only differences of opinion with them. He said he would hold talks to resolve the differences with them, post the elections.

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