Lingayat minority status granted by Congress ahead of Karnataka elections challenged in High Court

As per reports, advocate Amruthesh NP has filed a petition in the Karnataka High Court challenging the state’s decision to grant minority status to the Lingayat community. The primary grounds for the challenge is that Veershaivas and Lingayats fall under the Hindu religion and the unity and integrity of these communities must not be impaired.

The petition explains the history of both Veerashaivas and Lingayats. It emphasizes that both these communities are, in fact, synonymous. It is further stated in the petition that the attempt to portray both communities as different from one another and to accord minority status upon them was made by people with political intentions.

In a desperate bid to retain power, the Congress was seen leaving no stone unturned ahead of the Karnataka elections by adopting an approach which did not focus on the achievements of the Siddaramaiah government but broadly focussing towards disrupting the apple cart of the BJP. Congress was, during its campaigning in the run-up to Karnataka elections resorting to every political, communal and social trick in the book to dent the electoral prospects of the opposition parties. More than a positive vote for itself, it seems to be banking on a division of votes amongst the opposition to retain power. In continuation of the divide and rule policy of the Congress, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah recommended a separate minority religion tag for the Lingayat community.

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Law Minister, T.B. Jayachandran, had said quoting the cabinet decision, “After due deliberations and some discussion on concerns of various sections of society cabinet has decided to accept the recommendations of the state minority commission which based on the report of an expert committee, Karnataka State Minorities Commission (KSMC) headed by Justice Nagamohan Das has recommended considering grant of recognition as religious minority to the Lingayat and Veerashaiva Lingayat, believers of Basava Tattva, under Section 2(d) of the Karnataka Minorities Act. It was also decided to forward the same to the Central government for notifying under Section 2(d) of the Central Minority Commission Act.

However, this diabolic move of the Congress party, trying to throw in a number of identity cards, with an aim to divide the Hindu society on caste, region and religious basis had been rejected by the people. The Vokkaliga and Lingayats, who make up a significant percentage of the overall population of Karnataka, had emphatically voted for non-Congress parties.

While the party was busy playing caste politics, Senior Congress leader Jaffer Sharief was quick to make a jibe at his parties tactics by calling the Congress Lingayat card a ‘political stunt’ and stated that no one could ‘fool them’ by trying to divide them. He also stated that the move which saw the Congress government in Karnataka recommend a minority tag for the Lingayat community will not succeed at polls.

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