Lingayat row: BSY could have been CM, says seer

Lingayat row: BSY could have been CM, says seer

Pensive B S Yeddyurappa seen just before the vote of confidence following Assembly polls in May. He chose to step down as chief minister before the floor test. (DH file photo)

If senior BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa had supported or vocally expressed solidarity with the movement seeking separate religion status for Lingayats, he would have remained the chief minister said Dr Siddarama Swamiji of Rudrakshimath Naganur.

He spoke during a program to felicitate Lingayat legislators organized by Jagatika Lingayat Mahasabha and Rashtriya Basava Sene, at Gandhi Bhavan here on Sunday.

Siddarama Swamiji, who is prominent among seers who spearhead the movement, said Yeddyurappa was asked to support the movement in the interest of the community ahead of the assembly elections; but he chose not to, owing to political obligations.

"With an additional 15 seats, BJP would be sitting in the treasury benches and Yeddyurappa would have been the chief minister," the Swamiji said.

Yeddyurappa must atone for this mistake, the Swamiji said. He claimed that the Lingayat movement had in no way damaged the Congress' chances. "They lost out due to the anti-incumbency factor," he opined.

If at all the BJP ruling at the Centre, had to fare well in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, it has to award a separate religion status Veerashaiva-Lingayats (Basava Tatva) as per the recommendations made by the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government before the Assembly polls. 

Lingayat legislators Laxmi Hebbalkar, Mahantesh Koujalagi were felicitated on the occasion.