In a stunning confession which may cause huge embarrassment for Congress, Karnataka Minister and party strongman DK Shivakumar openly revealed that the previous Congress government led by Siddaramaiah made a grave mistake by trying to divide people by raking up Veerashaiva-Lingayat issue. The Congress leader admitted that the previous government tried to create a divide among caste groups to further political agenda.
According to News18 Kannada, DK Shivakumar visited the Dasara Sammelan of the Rambhapuri Seer Veera Someshwara Shivacharya Swami in Gadag and spoke regarding the stand taken by the previous Congress government on the issue of Veerashaiva-Lingayath.
The Congress government headed by Siddaramaiah had taken an extreme step of creating a divide between Veerashaivas and Lingayats by recommending a separate religion tag to ‘Lingayat’ community ahead of the elections in Karnataka. Veerashaiva or Lingayat is a prominent caste group which controls huge stakes in Karnataka’s electoral politics along with Vokkaligas in the state.
Source: Republic TV
DK Shivakumar went on to say that political parties should never commit the mistake of indulging in religious politics and went on to admit that Congress party indulged in dividing people to garner votes in the elections. DK Shivakumar, who was a Power minister in the previous government said that Siddaramaiah led Congress government made a grave error by playing Lingayat card in the state elections.
“We have committed a grave mistake during our tenure. Any government at any juncture should not politicise religion or interfere in its matters. There were a lot of political developments happening then but no government must intervene in matters of religion. Recently concluded events have reflected the people’s sentiments on this matter”, said DK Shivakumar.
DK Shivakumar went on to apologise for the actions of previous government. ” I will apologise sincerely for making such a grave mistake”, said the Karnataka Minister.
Late talking to media about his comment, Shivakumar said that he has made this statement from his heart and it was his personal opinion. He confirmed that he stands by his comment and reiterated that politicians should not interfere in the matter of religion.
The Congress despite playing the Veerashaiva-Lingayat card did not garner enough seat to cross simple majority in the state legislature. The Congress party secured 78 seats, JDS-37 seats, while BJP became the single largest party with 104 seats. The JDS-Congress joined hands under the leadership of former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy to form the new government in Karnataka.