Lingayat row: BJP confused

Bengaluru: BJP leaders in the state don't seem very clear on how to react to the state Cabinet's decision to recommend a religious minority tag for the Lingayat community to the Centre. 

While the state BJP issued a statement opposing the government's decision soon after it announced it and accused it of playing divisive politics, and Union Minister fopr Programme Implementation, D.V. Sadananda Gowda and senior leader, Jagadish Shettar too individually spoke out against it,  BJP state president and former CM, B.S. Yeddyurappa was more  cautious. He merely said he would go along with whatever decision the Akhila Bharathiya Veerashaiva Mahasabha took on the issue.

The matter was further discussed at a meeting of party leaders at his home in Dollars Colony on Tuesday in the presence of BJP national organising joint secretary, Santhosh and state organising secretary, Arun Kumar.  The Lingayat strongman is said to have stuck to his view that the party must support the stance taken by the Veerashaiva Mahasabha and   Shivakumara Swami of Siddaganaga Mutt. Pointing out that the issue was sensitive, he stressed on caution and advised against giving misleading statements that could boomerang on the party in the coming assembly polls, going by sources.

Mr Yeddyurappa also reportedly noted that the state government had merely passed the buck on the issue to the Centre. Mr. Santhosh and Mr Arunkumar felt the party needed to explain to the people that the Congress had " no genuine interest in the welfare of Lingayats and that it had taken the decision on a minority status for them just to cause unrest among them," sources said.

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