BENGALURU: When in crisis, turn to the mutts, has been our netas’ mantra. Now, with the government hanging by a slender thread, the coalition partners are seeking the intervention of the powerful mutts to win over the rebels. These caste-based mutts wield considerable influence over their followers.
Since majority of the rebel MLAs are from Vokkaliga, Kuruba and Lingayat communities, the coalition netas want the seers’ blessings to attain the magic figure to save the coalition while the BJP too is seeking their support to form a new government.
Though the mutts, the silent power centres, had adopted a wait-and-watch policy all these months, now, they have thrown their weight behind two political parties. If the Vokkaliga mutts from the Old Mysuru region are backing Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, the Lingayat mutts are said to be supporting BJP strongman B S Yeddyurappa.
It is learnt that the people close to the mutts contacted the rebel MLAs over phone seeking their support.
A senior JDS leader claimed he was asked to withdraw resignation and was also assured a cabinet berth if he supported Kumaraswamy. “The man who contacted me said he was speaking on behalf of the religious head. However, I politely refused and told him that we would not go back on our decision and want to install a new government for the development of the state,” he said.
Some representatives of aVeerashaiva-Lingayat mutt have spoken to a few MLAs seeking their support to Yeddyurappa, sources said. They were also told that the ‘new government’ would offer them plum posts, besides help develop their constituencies. A rebel MLA who didn’t want to be named said that some people claiming to be the representatives of a popular mutt offered him a ministerial berth with a request to support Yeddyurappa’s leadership.
The powerful two
The political drama in Karnataka has slowly taken shape into the lobbying of two powerful communities to take control of the power politics in the state. The Veerashaiva-Lingayats and Vokkaligas who have dominated the political scene have ruled the state for 37 years — 21 years by the Veerashaivas and
16 years by Vokkaligas.