Modi, Siddu vie to win over Lingayats

Bengaluru: The battle for the Lingayat vote continues with  Basava Jayanthi providing both the BJP and Congress the perfect opportunity to show off their "love and respect" for the community and its revered 12th century reformer. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi not only drove to Lambeth in London to garland a Basaveshwara statue installed there a few years ago on Wednesday, but also in a discussion British Premier, Theresa May explained to her the importance of Basava Jayanti. He told her that even before the Magna Carta was drafted, Lord Basaveshwara propagated equality for women, espoused democratic values and resolved conflicts through meaningful dialogue, going by  a video of the event on his Twitter handle. In Bengaluru, BJP national president, Amit Shah, who is here to campaign for the party, drove to the Basaveshwara Circle to garland the statue of Basaveshwara. Accompa nied by state BJP chief and Lingayat strongman, B.S. Yeddyurappa, Mr Shah also felicitated  scholar Dr M. Chidananda Murthy and Dalit poet, Siddalingaiah.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah , meanwhile, garlanded a Basaveshwara statue in Mysuru, and in a long post spoke of  his affection and respect for the reformer, saying he had inspired him to introduce his welfare schemes for the poor.

To further appeal to the Lingayats, he recalled that he had taken his oath of office on Basava Jayanthi when elected in 2013  "It was a conscious decision to take oath on Basava Jayanthi in 2013. That day I swore that I would walk the path of Basavanna's teachings. In the past five years, our government has stayed true to Basavanna's philosophy. As soon as I took office, I announced the Anna 

Bhagya scheme and launched the Ksheera Bhagya and later the Indira Canteen," he said. 

Interestingly, Mr Siddara maiah mentioned the contributions of the Lingayat maths but ignored the Veerashaiva maths.

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