Cong, BJP hunt for Lingayat-Veerashaiva votes

Congress candidate Vinay Kulkarni seeking votes of Lingayat-Veerashaiva community has given a new angle to the fight between Congress and BJP in Dharwad Lok Sabha constituency

KPCC President Dinesh Gundu Rao clarified that the issue of Lingayat independent religion is not relevant now, but Congress candidate Vinay Kulkarni is seeking votes of Lingayat-Veerashaiva community also, as the party is seeking the support of all communities.

The Congress party has no link with Lingayat independent religion issue, but D K Shivakumar might have apologised for the previous government's act of recommending minority status for Lingayats, he said.

Meanwhile, MLC Basavaraj Horatti met Shri Gurusiddha Rajayogindra Swamiji of Moorusavira Mutt here on Saturday, and sought his blessings.

Horatti was in the forefront of the agitation demanding independent religion status for the Lingayat, while the seer had remained neutral.

Hubballi-Dharwad City District Congress Committee spokesman Vedavyas Kaulagi expressed confidence that Lingayat-Veerashaiva community members, who earlier supported BJP, would vote for Congress candidate Vinay Kulkarni this time.

A few seers of Advaitha tradition have asked people to vote for Vinay Kulkarni, saying that he knows the problems of people including farmers, and a change is also needed.

BJP MLAs and other leaders from Lingayat community have alleged that Kulkarni tried to divide the community, and is now playing divisive politics again. They asked the community members to support BJP candidate Pralhad Joshi. It was BJP which supported the community, and not the Congress, they added.

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