Swamijis on Karnataka CM, DyCM posts: Minister sees BJP’s hand

The BJP that won 27 Lok Sabha seats in the 2019 polls could win only 17 seats this time.
Karnataka Agriculture Minister N Chaluvarayaswamy
Karnataka Agriculture Minister N Chaluvarayaswamy Photo | Express

TUMAKURU/BENGALURU: With two religious heads — one from the Vokkaliga community and another from the Veerashaiva Lingayat community— raising their voice for the chief minister’s post for their respective community leaders, the issue is unlikely to die down, with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s cabinet colleagues wading into the row.

Agriculture Minister N Chaluvarayaswamy on Friday alleged that this could be the BJP instigating religious heads to speak about a change in the CM’s post. Religious heads need not express their feelings publicly, he suggested.

“Either the stars of the state are not in our favour or BJP leaders are inciting the swamis. The BJP that won 27 Lok Sabha seats in the 2019 polls could win only 17 seats this time. It is not surprising that BJP leaders are desperate to swing into action. AICC President Mallikarjuna Kharge is from Karnataka, he knows everything and has the power to set things right,” he said.

But PWD Minister Satish Jarkiholi said he was not surprised as religious heads demanding the CM’s post for their leaders is nothing new. ‘’In a democracy, everyone has the right to express their feelings. But the decision on the CM’s post should be decided by the party high command and legislators,” he quipped. He maintained that all is well within the party.

Amidst this, Cooperation Minister KN Rajanna sparked yet another controversy, replying to Vokkaliga community religious head Chandrashekara Swamiji’s offer of 10 acres of land and an ashram if he (Rajanna) was prepared to wear the kaavi (ochre robes) and advice to lead an effortless life, without toil.

“Which swami is he, there are thousands of swamis in the country... The advice given by him is good as he has given guidance to live without sweating it out,” he said before the media in Tumakuru.

“Rajanna is a senior leader. I respect him but it is not right for Rajanna to talk lightly about swamiji,” warned JDS leader Nikhil Kumaraswamy in Mandya.

Meanwhile, despite oral instructions by Siddaramaiah not to raise the issue of political posts, Rajanna reiterated that there is nothing wrong. “The high command will know only when we ask,” he stated.

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