BENGALURU: In the continuing series of dispute over the status of Lingayats and Veerashaivas, the Lingayat faction has said they stand by the statement of Water Resources Minister M B Patil, who claimed that the Siddaganga mutt supported their stand that Lingayats and Veerashaivas are not the same.
At a press conference on Thursday held by Minister Vinay Kulkarni, JD(S) MLC Basavaraj Horatti, Aland MLA B R Patil and retired IAS officer S M Jamdar, the group made it clear that Patil had not twisted what was discussed at the meeting between him and Siddaganga mutt seer Shivakumar swami.
MLC Basavaraj Horatti said the seer should not be drawn into the controversy. The team, however, insisted on saying that Patil had not lied, but when asked if that meant that the seer had lied, they refused to give an answer.
At this stage, Aland MLA B R Patil pipped in and said the stand of the mutt came about due to a conspiracy hatched by Sangh Parivar. “Sangh Parivar leaders from Delhi have pressurised them. The ones who sent Yeddyurappa to jail are the ones who have hatched this conspiracy. That is why the seer changed his stand,” he alleged.
Kulkarni said it was an attempt to damage their fight. “The timing of Somanna’s visit to the mutt and Yeddyurappa’s statement saying we should wait for two days to see what happens is noteworthy. No political leader should misuse the mutt. This is not right,” he said.The group also tried to buttress their argument by referring to an audio tape supposedly by one Shivakumar, an administrator at Siddaganga mutt, where he expressed the view that Lingayat and Veerashaiva were not the same. However, when reporters pointed out that the Mutt had issued a statement saying that their administrator was a man named Vishwanath and the voice in the audio tape belonged to a Group D employee from SIT college named Shivakumar, the group had no answer.