Hubballi : Various Lingayat leaders and religious heads who along with thousands of community members who converged in Hubballi on Sunday, have urged the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to ensure separate religion status to Lingayats before forthcoming Assembly elections in the Karnataka.
Addressing a mammoth rally in Hubballi where around fifty thousand people had converged on Sunday, they claimed that the State government should send recommendation to the Centre before code of conduct comes into force.
Stating that both Veerashaiva Mahasabha and Pancha Peetha will be held responsible if the community is divided in a fight for minority tag, they said that all effort for negotiation with them has failed and appealed them to join hands with Lingayats in their movement when the rallies are in the final stage. The seers also called upon the community people not to cast vote for any political party if it does not promise independent religion tag in its manifesto.
Hitting out against Veerashaiva Mahasabha leaders for their public criticism of Lingayat leaders and seers, JD(S) leader Basavaraj Horatti has denied the charges of involvement of politics in the agitation. Challenging the Mahasabha to produce evidence if both Lingayat and Veerashaivas are same.
Water resource minister M B Patil said that the Rajya Sabha member Prabhakar Kore of BJP has no strength even to win a Gram Panchayat election. He urged the BJP leader to step down as the chairman of Karnataka Lingayat Education Society (KLE) if he is not supporting religion tag as the foundation for the institution was laid by the seven teachers called Saptharishis over a century ago.
Kore, many other BJP leaders including Yediyurappa and Shettar are running after Veerashaivas though they have gained power in the name of Lingayat”.
Urging the community people not to have marital relationship with those who oppose religion tag, the woman seer Mathe Mahadevi said that prominent Veerashaiva leaders including Shamanur Shivashankarappa are fearing loss in their education institutions if they support the movement.
The Lingayat leaders have decided to conduct few more rallies in different parts of the state and the last rally in December last week or January first week in Bengaluru.