Bengaluru: Former minister and Janata Dal (Secular) Floor Leader in the Legislative Council Basavaraj Horatti has been appointed president of the Vishwa Lingayat Mahasabha- a parallel body to Akhila Bharatha Veerashaiva Mahasabha.
This was decided at a meeting of senior Lingayat leaders held here under the chairmanship of Water Resources Minister M.B. Patil, Mines and Geology Minister Vinay Kulkarni and Medical Education Minister Dr Sharan Prakash Patil.
Addressing a news conference after the meeting, Mr Patil said the meeting also unanimously resolved to appoint Higher Education Minister Basavaraj Rayaraddi, Lok Sabha member Prakash Hukkeri, former minister and Congress MLA A.B. Malakareddy, Mr Arvind Jatti, MLAs Ashok Kheny, Mr B.R. Patil, Mr Ashok Pattan, former DG & IGP Shankar Bidari, former minister Dr M.P. Nadgouda as senior vice-preidents. While Dr Sharan Prakash Patil has been appointed as president of the state unit of Mahasabha, former IAS officer S.M. Jamdhar has been made general secretary and noted Kannada litterateur, Prof Chandrashekar Patil, Mr Vinay Kulkarni and Mr Go Ru Channabasappa members of the State Executive Committee.
He said over 500 members of Akhila Bharatha Veerashaiva Mahasabha including pontiffs or various mutts, have severed their ties with the Mahasabha and sent their resignation letters to Mr N Thippanna, working president of the Mahasabha. "We are not Hindus but Lingayats. However, we are not anti-Hindu”, he said.
Mr Jamdhar also said the concept of mutts never existed in Basava religion. Already, two drafts have been readied for the Lingayat Mahasabha and the membership drive will begin in a week.
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