Faith tag not a poll issue for Cong: Patil

M B Patil

Minister M B Patil said on Monday that the Congress would not use the separate religion for Lingayats as a poll issue.

“We will seek votes based on development projects implemented in the last five years. Actually, the BJP is raking up the separate religion issue which will benefit the Congress,” Patil said in a chat with DH. “Shamanur Shivashankarappa, 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. All those residing in the country were Hindus. I am not opposed to Hinduism.”

On Panchapeetha seers campaigning against him in his Babaleshwar constituency, he said that they were doing so at the behest of a BJP leader.

“I will discuss with documents with Panchapeetha seers at Shivayoga Mandir after the polls about Lingayat-Veerashaiva issue. I only will lead rituals to be conducted for them,” he said.

Patil claimed that I-T sleuths did not search his premises as they were afraid of protests by his party against such searches during polls. “I stressed about the IT searches on my premises as a few BJP leaders had tipped me off about it,” Patil claimed.

“I accelerated many projects and completed them within five years redressing drinking water grievances in 100 Assembly segments, besides boosting ground water table,” he said.

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