I am a Hindu Vaishnav, Not Jain: Amit Shah Replies to Siddaramaiah

Sunday, 08 Apr, 2018

Jain is a separate religion.

Sources close to Chief Minister say that Chamundeshwari is the place from where Siddaramaiah rose to become the face of politics in Mysuru and this is where he first contested and won in 1983 and this is the same constituency which gave rebirth to his political journey from Congress party in 2006 by-poll.

Though other seers were discreet in their endorsement of the incumbent government, the support of Mathe Mahadevi, one of the more influential spiritual leaders of the community, could give the Congress a much better fighting chance in the Lingayat dominated areas like Mumbai-Karnataka, where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has a strong hold.

She clarified that members of the Jagatika Lingayat Mahasabha were not anti-Hindu since they follow Indian culture, but had only sought separate religion status.

Mate Mahadevi said that the deadline for the centre to respond has been set as April 18, Basava Jayanthi.

The political circles in Mysuru said that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah made a decision to go back to Chamundeshwari Constituency in order to pave way for his son Dr Yathindra to contest from Varuna Constituency. During her interaction with the media, she said that though he was not born a Lingayat, he had proved beyond doubt that he was an ardent follower of Basavanna and demonstrated "Basava Sankalpa" through many deeds, including recommending to the Union government a separate religion tag for Lingayats. "His lies will only end up creating false impressions in people's minds", she said.

"It is due to Siddaramaiah that we are getting recognition".

"They say we are breaking India and Hinduism".

Jai Mrutyunjaya, the leader of the mutt at Kudalasangama, an important Lingayat pilgrimage centre located in Bagalkote district, said: "Who is Amit Shah to make this statement about not dividing Veerashaivas and Lingayats?" "We will support those who support us", he said, refusing to directly state, when asked, if that means they would urge the Lingayats to support the Congress. Similarly, Mr. Shah is trying to win elections in Karnataka without the support of Lingayats.

"Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has supported our demand".

The BJP however believes that a certain section of Lingayats and Veershaivas are unhappy at the division, and they would reject the Congress. The order from the Department of Minority Affairs was sent for the Centre's Approval.

At the Lingayat Matadhipathigala Vedike's meeting here, she came down on the BJP, saying that the party president Amit Shah and the RSS were misleading and lying to the people about the community.