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Vijayapura: Home minister questions Shivakumar's authority in apologising on Lingayat religion

Daijiworld Media Network - Vijayapura (SP)

Vijayapura, Apr 13: State home minister, M B Patil, said that no one has raised the demand for separate Lingayat religion during the current election. He noted that in spite of this, state water resources minister, D K Shivakumar, has been voluntarily offering public apologies on this issue frequently. He said with this action, Shivakumar has been testing the patience of himself and people like him. He pledged to bring before the people the plan behind these apologies and the conspiracy with which Shivakumar is involved.

"We have repeatedly made it clear that Congress as a political party has nothing to do with the demand for creation of separate Lingayat religion. Still, Shivakumar has been unnecessarily saying that Congress fared poorly in the previous election because of its association with movement meant to win religious recognition for Lingayat. He also has been offering apologies publicly for the same. Let him first tender an apology for allowing Congress to lose its eminence in Mysuru region where Vokkaligas have predominance, and for the reverses the party has suffered there," he quipped.

M B Patil and D K Shivakumar - File photo

The minister said that Lingayat religion founded by Basavanna is the very soul of the existence of Lingayat people. "Because of this, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee and Swamijis of his religion have jointly supported the demand for separate Lingayat religion. In Karnataka, Congress party is not associated with this demand, but Shivakumar has been extending apologies unnecessarily, perhaps with the intention of challenging our silence in the matter. Who gave Shivakumar, who claims himself to be an ordinary worker of the party, the right and authority to apologise about our religion? I am owning silence now to see that the party does not face tricky situation during the election. I will lay bare the people behind Shivakumar's unnecessary apologies," he thundered.

Patil pointed out that Lingayat people have not interfered with Shivakumar's caste, religion, etc, and added that he would discuss the matter with party's national president, Rahul Gandhi, and party in-charge of Karnataka, K C Venugopal. He said he prefers not to respond for the present as Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president, Dinesh Gundu Rao, has asked him to remain silent. "Once election is over, I will call a separate press conference and expose the colours of people behind this ploy," Patil stated.

At the same time, speaking at Kalaburagi, president of Akhil Bharat Veerashaiva Mahasabha and former minister, Shamanur Shivashankarappa, said that the separate religion recognition issue is a closed chapter now and that there are no differences between the people belonging to Veerashaiva and Lingayat groups.

He was here on Friday to take part in the Veerashaiva - Lingayat conference held with Congress support here. He felt that everything will settle down if the Swamijis keep themselves away from politics.

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Title : Vijayapura: Home minister questions Shivakumar's authority in apologising on Lingayat religion


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