The Bharatiya Janata Party’s leader in Karnataka, BS Yeddyurappa, on Wednesday said the state government’s decision to seek religious minority status for the Lingayat community was an “election gimmick”, The Indian Express reported. The state will go to the polls in the next few months.
“Siddaramaiah is dividing society on emotional issues,” Yeddyurappa said, referring to the chief minister. “There is not just one Lingayat-Veerashaiva. It is an attempt to mislead people.”
The BJP leader questioned what Siddaramaiah would do if more communities and castes asked for separate religious status. “What is the CM’s agenda?” he asked. “Siddaramaiah is an example of how low one can stoop just for political gains.”
Yedyurappa also dismissed the allegation that in 2013 he signed a memorandum of the Akhil Bharata Veerashaiva Mahasabha, seeking separate religious status to the Lingayats, The Times of India reported.
Congress leader Shamanur Shivashankarappa, who is also the president of the Mahasabha, on Tuesday said that the government’s decision was one-sided.
The BJP leader said that the decision of the Mahasabha, which is scheduled to meet on Friday to discuss the matter, would be binding.