New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seems to be paying the Congress in the same coin as far as politics that centered around the Karnataka elections is concerned. The Congress that had tried to drive Lingayat community out of the BJP fold by giving them status of a minority community in the state might become a bone in the throat as over a dozen newly elected Lingayat MLAs are in touch with the BJP leadership in the state.
Sources said that there are several reasons behind this decision; First and the foremost reason being that the decision of the Congress joining Janata Dal (S) has not gone down well with the community as Janata Dal (S) is a predominantly Vokkaliga party led by H D Deve Gouda. There is a fierce rivalry between Lingayat and Vokkaliga in the state.
The other reason for Lingayats supporting the BJP is that the Congress in its attempt to stop the party coming to power in real sense stopped a Lingayat leader from coming to power which has annoyed them to the core. Political commentators are saying that these leaders might be in different political parties but as a community, they have many things in common that can influence them. Sources said that former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa commands respect of the community people and this was the reason that when he parted ways with the BJP his party polled 10 per cent votes in the state.
Sources said that besides Lingayats some other MLAs are also in touch with the BJP leadership. So if the total number of the newly elected MLAs who are in tough with the BJP are counted it would stand between 15 and 17 MLAs making the BJP comfortable to form the government in the state.
On being asked that there is anti-defection law that might come in their way on supporting the BJP, the source said that some Lingayat MLAs are ready to go up to any extent even losing their membership however other MLAs might abstain or even resign to seek fresh mandate. But all will depend and finalized after BJP's legislative party meeting.