The Lingayat Chief Minister debate has resurfaced, with Congress MLA and President of the All India Veerashaiva Lingayat Mahasabha, Shamanur Shivashankarappa, expressing his concerns.
Shamanur emphasized that the Deputy Chief Minister’s post wouldn’t suffice, advocating for a Lingayat candidate to assume the role of Chief Minister. He pointed out the dissatisfaction among Lingayats during Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s tenure, highlighting that Lingayat officers were not being considered for prominent positions.
This renewed debate on the Lingayat Chief Minister issue has stirred discussions within the political landscape.
“The community was better off during the tenure of late chief ministers Nijalingappa and J.H. Patel. Now our community is distraught,” he said.
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He maintained that during the Veerashaiva Mahasabha programme recently held in Bengaluru, he had spoken about that how the important posts are not given to Lingayats. “I have not discussed this with ministers. What can we do with the Deputy Chief Minister’s post, if consideration is made, our demand is for the Chief Minister’s post,” he said.
The demand from the 92-year-old leaders from the Lingayat community, one of the most senior persons from the central Karnataka region, alleged running a republic in Davanagere region has put the state Congress in a fix.
The Lingayat community which rallied behind former chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa had shifted to Congress in the previous assembly elections. The Congress party fielded 46 candidates in the elections and 37 of them won. The BJP had given tickets to 69 candidates and only 15 managed to win.
The party also welcomed Lingayat leaders, former chief minister Jagadish Shettar and former deputy chief minister Laxman Savadi, who were denied tickets by the BJP.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s loyal ministers are batting for the creation of more Deputy Chief Minister posts while the Deputy Chief Minister Shivakumar camp Congress leader B.K. Hariprasad is against Siddaramaiah and raised his concerns for Dalit chief minister for the state.
(With inputs from IANS)