MALAVALLI: A week after describing Janata Dal (S) as 'B' team of the BJP, Congress president Rahul Gandhi stepped up his attack against the regional party in the volatile Vokkaliga belt, dubbing it as Janata Dal (Sangh Parivar), working for the right-wing party in forthcoming Assembly polls.
His acerbic remarks came on the eve of entry of seven JD (S) rebels, who quit as MLAs on Saturday, into the Congress.
Addressing a rally here, Mr Gandhi remarked that the Assembly polls would witness a contest of two ideologies-Congress and BJP, but with JD (S) acquiring a new name "Janata Dal (Sangh Parivar)."I will tell you. Let BJP's A team, B team or C team come together. The Congress party is going to win this election."
Stating that his party believed in the ideology of 12th century saint, social reformer Basaveshwara's famous saying "Nudidante Nade" (follow what you preach). On the other hand, leaders of JD (S) preach one thing and practice another. He alleged that the BJP and JD (S) wherever spreading falsehood."The BJP is a party that believes in dividing the country, we will have to defeat them." He asserted that the Congress would win the elections in Karnataka because "it is not a new fight, but is a very old fight."
Hailing the state government headed by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, the Congress president listed welfare schemes like 'Anna Bhagya' under which each person gets Rs 7 lakh rice free of cost every month, as one to alleviate poverty and hunger. Besides, Indira Canteens were inaugurated in all districts to offer quality food at subsidized rates. Free education was being offered to girl students from KG to PG. Free treatment up to Rs 1.5 lakh had been announced by the state government in the name of Rajiv Gandhi Health Scheme covering every family. While the Congress believes in constructive works, BJP was playing divisive politics and this was the difference between two national parties. "Our government has waives of Rs 8500 crore crop loan borrowed by farmers within ten days after announcement by Mr Siddaramaiah. A number of schemes has been doled out to people of Mandya district", he added.
Former minister M.H. Ambareesh was conspicuous by his absence as he was reportedly upset with the party's decision to induct JD (S) rebels.
JD(S) rebel MLAs resign, to join Congress today
A day after voting for Congress candidates in polls to Rajya Sabha, seven rebel JD(S) legislators quit as Members of the Legislative Assembly on Saturday.
They met Speaker K.B. Koliwad at his residence in two batches and submitted their resignation letters. Those who resigned are: Mr Zameer Ahmed Khan, Mr N Chaluvarayaswamy, Mr Ramesh Bandisiddegowda, Mr Akhanda Srinivasamurthy, Mr Bhima Naik, Mr Iqbal Ansari and Mr M Balakrishna.
On receipt of the letters, Mr Koliwad said they were accepted as they had quit on their own volition. Reacting to their resignation, state JD (S) president H D Kumaraswamy accused them of neglecting the party which helped them enter the Assembly.
"They betrayed the party during two elections to Rajya Sabha by voting for Congerss candidates. What message are they going to send to youth who want to enter politics? They are setting a bad precedent", he added.
Training his guns on Congress Kumaraswamy wanted, Mr to know what message the party would give to the society by breaking religion and parties. The formula adopted by Congress to win Rajya Sabha polls would boomerang. People would teach a lesson to those who deserted the party, he added.
No link between lingayats and veerashaivas: Jamdar
The Jagatika Lingayat Mahasabha (JLM) on Saturday asserted that Veerashaivas and Lingayats are two different entities and that it would launch an agitation if the Union government failed to give its nod to the state cabinet's recommendation to accord religious minority status to Lingayats. Speaking to reporters here, General Secretary Mr Jamdar said: "There is no link between Lingayats and the Veerashaivas. We (Lingayats) are a different religion. We will launch strong protests if the Union government fails to accord a religious minority status to Lingayats. This time we will have a major force behind us as there is a nation-wide support for the movement."
Claiming that Lingayat population roughly constituted one per cent of the population in the country, Mr Jamdar contested one per cent of the national population, based on the national backward classes commission report, are Lingayats.
"The maximum population is in Karnataka and Maharashtra, with each boasting of over one crore population of the Lingayats and its 99 sub-sects. Then there is a population of 50 lakh people in Tamil Nadu, 75 lakh in Telangana and another 50 lakh in Andhra Pradesh. In the northern region, there are about five lakh Lingayats in Madhya Pradesh and other Hindi belt area," he added.
Replying to question, he said JLM welcomed those who believe in Basava Tatva into Lingayat fold and added that Lingayats holding positions in All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha must quit these posts and join JLM.
He said “Lingayats are a notch better than Jains when it comes to practicing non-violence."
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