Lingayat issue: DKS puts the ball back in BJP's court

A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi charged the Congress with making a vain attempt to divide the Lingayat community, Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar put the ball back in the BJP’s court saying, the Lingayat movement was initiated by the BJP in 2013.

In a press meet here on Friday, Shivakumar said, “A delegation of the community leaders, led by former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, had submitted a memorandum to the UPA government demanding religious minority status for the community. 

Releasing a copy of the memorandum, signed by Yeddyurappa, G S Basavaraju and Shashikala Jolle among others, submitted to the UPA government in 2013, the minister said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during an election rally, had said that the Congress
party tried to divide the community for political gains, not knowing that it was his party leaders who had laid the foundation for it.”

Shivakumar said, “Based on it (memorandum), the Siddaramaiah-led government had recommended the Centre to accord religious minority status to
Lingayats. Personally, I felt it was a wrong step by the government.”

He said, “Modi should stop raking up such issues in election rallies. Instead, he should highlight the achievements of the Centre in the last five years.”

The Congress had suffered a huge setback in last year’s Assembly polls, for backing the demand for separate religion tag for Lingayats.

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