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Separate religion status for Lingayats: Why Yeddyurappa's stony silence speaks a lot?

By Chennabasaveshwar
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    A month before the assembly elections, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah hurriedly passed the resolution to recommend separate religion status for the 'Lingayat' community. The decision has put the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership in a fix struggling to dethrone Congress government in the state.

    Langayat vs Veerahshiava: Why Yeddyurappas stony silence speaks a lot

    The Karnataka Government on Monday accepted the recommendations of Justice Nagmohan Das Committee. The cabinet considered a separate religion status for Lingayat community, Veershaiva Lingayats and followers of Basvanna (Basava tatva)-these  will be brought under section 2D of State Minority Commission Act. Further, it will be recommended to the Government of India to bring these sects under National minority commission act.

    As expected, Siddaramaiah was applauded by some and blamed for dividing the Hindu society for his short-term political gains.

    Read | Constitutional recognition of Lingayat religion does not lead to further division of Hindus

    Meanwhile, a memorandum signed by former CM BS Yeddyurappa has surfaced on social media. Srinivas BV, National General Secretary Indian Youth Congress, tweeted a memorandum submitted by All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha in which Yeddyurappa signed for his support for recognition of Veerashaiva Lingayat community as an 'Independent Religion'.

    In 2013, All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha submitted a memorandum requesting the then PM Manmohan Singh to provide a separate Code number/Column/Abbreviation/ for recording 'religion' of the Veerashaiva- Lingayath in the census form and to recognise Veerashaiva- Lingayath community as an 'Independent Religion' by the Government of India.

    The memorandum was signed by as many as 57 sitting MLAs and MPs from Congress JD(S) and BJP.

    About 27 of them were from BJP including Basavaraj Bommai, Prabhakar Kore, Umesh Katti, Laxman Savadi, Aravind Bellad. Three JD(S) MLAs - Basavaraj Horatti, SS Shivashankar and Mallikarjun Khuba - had also signed the memorandum and 27 Congress MLAs and MPs as well.

    Meanwhile, Rajdeep Sardesai hit out at Siddaramaiah for playing the caste card during the election. He, however, mentioned that Yeddyurappa also wanted Lingayats to get separate minority status in 2013.

    Yeddyurappa has not spoken a word about the Cabinet decision since yesterday. If he takes an opposite stand in this tumultuous political atmosphere, he would face an unprecedented backlash from the community.

    Karnataka Assembly Election dates
    Date of notification April 17
    Last date to file nominations April 24
    Last date to withdraw nominations April 27
    Date of polling May 12
    Date of counting May 15

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