Karnataka assembly polls: Yeddyurappa files nomination papers from Shikaripura

Leslie Hanson
April 19, 2018

Reddy hit back saying that Basaveshwara is not Karandlaje's property.

The event - on the saint's 885th birth anniversary today - was organised by The Basaveshwara Foundation, a non-profit organisation-based in the United Kingdom that has installed the statue.

As part of his outreach towards the Lingayats, Shah paid homage earlier in the day to Lord Basaveshwara, garlanding the 12th century seer's statue near Chalukya Circle in the state capital. Shah's visit coincides with Basava Jayanti, a prominent festival celebrated by Karnataka's Lingayat "minority". They demanded that Shah makes his stand clear on the demand for Lingayat as a separate religion, and ask the government to approve the recommendation for the same. "We detained them as a preventive measure", a police official said. Congress party leaders concede that winning Karnataka Assembly polls would strengthen Rahul's bid to replace Modi at the Centre as he would be able to muster the non-BJP parties under a common umbrella so as to forge a "Rainbow alliance" (similar to the 2004 scenario) ahead of next year's general polls.

The State Cabinet had on March 19 made a decision to recommend to the Centre grant of religious minority tag to the Lingayats and Veerashaiva Lingayats. Congress" good show in Karnataka would also help the "uncertain' non-BJP regional parties to throw their weight behind the Congress instead of aligning with the third front mooted by the chief-ministers of West Bengal and Telengana.

Lingayats/Veerashaivas constitute an estimated 17 per cent of the state's population.

The approval was given as a mark of respect to Indian philosopher and social reformer Basaveshwara for promoting democratic ideals, social justice and gender equality.

The Lingayats, who consider Basaveshwara the founder of a separate religion, have been supporters of the BJP from the late 1990s.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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