I didn’t divide religion, says Siddaramaiah

The coalition coordination committee chairman Siddaramaiah speaks at remembrance programme of late seer Tontada Siddalinga Swami in Gadag on Sunday. DH Photo

The coalition coordination committee chairman Siddaramaiah on Sunday said that he did not divide the religion.

“How does the recommendation to accord the status of minority religion to Lingayats and Veerashaiva Lingayats (followers of Basava philosophy) to the Central government amount to division of the religion?” he asked at remembrance programme of late seer Tontada Siddalinga Swami here.

“Basavanna came out with an alternative to the vedic religion in the 12th century. The alternative wasn’t named Lingayat then. Basavanna didn’t divide the caste,” he said. “Vested interests are opposed to changes.

Siddalinga Swami, a staunch follower of Basava, also faced wrath of the vested interests,” Siddaramaiah said.

His government’s decision regarding the Lingayat faith, naming women’s varsity in Vijayapura after Akkamahadevi and making displaying of Basavanna’s portraits mandatory at government offices were not aimed to strengthen vote bank.

He acknowledged that he faced setback for his decision on the Lingayat row.

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I didn’t divide religion, says Siddaramaiah

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