BJP trying hard to get Lingayats back to fold

Basavaraj Bommai continues to be CM, the community feels it is being sidelined in the decision-making process.

Published: 30th October 2022 05:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th October 2022 05:18 AM   |  A+A-

BJP Flags (Photo | PTI)

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Express News Service

BENGALURU: Elections are just six months away and BJP is trying to ‘reconsolidate’ its mighty Lingayat support base. This is after complaints that the chasm between Lingayats BJP is growing after BS Yediyurappa resigned as chief minister. Though another Lingayat, Basavaraj Bommai, rep­l­a­ced him, the community feels it is being sidelined in the decision-making process. The big question is: How to counter this challenge?

Veerashaiva Mahasabha Secretary Renuka Prasanna said, “There has been a sentiment that the real power rests with the Sangh Parivar. The community’s 40% will vote for BJP whatever happens. But what about the remaining 60 per cent? This issue cannot be addressed by erecting statues.’’

Political analyst B S Murthy said, “Lingayats are bitter as they perceive less power in their hands. There is also a discussion that the Sangh Parivar, not Bommai, runs the administration. They say this never happened under Yediyurappa, who kept Sangh elements at a distance. This perception is because Bommai’s administration has been marred by commu­nal violence, mis­go­ver­nance and the general optics of a weak and indecisive CM. Bommai’s inability to handle Panchamasali agitation adds to that perception. This could have been managed better if BY Vijayendra was taken into the cabinet. Vijayendra would have been seen as CM in waiting. BJP today believes in a different kind of optics, that of engaging the community with statues and naming ceremonies than giving power to community leaders.”

But BJP general secretary Ravi Kumar said, “Yediyurappa has been elevated to the member of Parliamentary Board. Also, Kalyana-Karnataka, a largely Lingayat belt, has been given a special package of `5,000 crore. Veerashaiva Development Board has set aside funds for the development of the community. The Anubhava Mantapa is being set up at Rs 500 crore.”


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