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Lingayat and Veerashaivas are same: Karnataka minister protests 'one-sided' decision

Lingayat and Veerashaivas are same: Karnataka minister protests 'one-sided' decision

"Veerashaiva/Lingayats are a sect of the Hindus and not an independent religion", the letter read, adding that the demand was not "logical".

Sources said the MHA was likely to send the proposal to the registrar-general and census commissioner for a detailed examination and suggestions as both Lingayat and Veerashaiva Lingayat communities are numerically strong in the state.

The committee submitted the report to the state government on March 2, favouring The committee submitted its report on March 2, 2018 recommending religious minority status for the community. Karnataka government's decision has considered as a key political change in the Karnataka politics that too when the state polls are ahead.

Lingayats and Veerashaiva Lingayats, who worship Hindu deity Shiva as their universal god, are the largest community (17 per cent) in the state, whose votes could influence the outcome of the state assembly election in April-May.

One of the people who spearheaded the movement was former IAS officer SM Jamdaar who as a member of the community has led the movement seeking separate religion status. Prior to the October 2014 assembly election in Maharashtra, the Congress-NCP government chose to recommend for the inclusion of Lingayat community in the Other Backward Class (OBC) category.

More news: IL primary election results

They believe that Veerashaivas are one among the seven sects of Shaivas, which is part of Hinduism.

Interestingly, the BJP wanted to ignore the demand for separate religion status at the beginning.

The Akhila Bharata Veerashaiva Mahasabha on Tuesday said it would not accept the Karnataka cabinet's decision to recommend to the Centre granting religious minority tag to the dominant Lingayat and Veerashaiva Lingayat community. Clearly, the Siddaramaiah government's decision to support the claims of one section of the Lingayat community has to do with the impending assembly election. The issue came at the centrestage past year when Chief Minister Siddaramaiah promised to consider the demand.

Interestingly, BJP State president B.S. Yeddyurappa has desisted from going into the details of the party's plans, but for reiterating that they would abide by the decision of the Veerashaiva Mahasabha. The ball is now in the BJP's court.


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