Seer threatens to destabilise BJP govt in Karnataka if nominee is not made minister
An influential Lingayat seer, Jagadguru Saragandhara Desikendra Swami of Saranya Mutt of Srisailam has threatened that he will ensure that at least 10 MLAs resign in case Kalburgi South legislator Dattareya Patil Revoor is not inducted as a minister in the next round of cabinet expansion in Karnataka.
The seer was speaking in Kalburgi at the birthday celebrations of Revoor who has been an aspirant for a cabinet berth. “We want Yediyurappa to continue as the Chief Minister even for the next term. However if we miss this opportunity, a Lingayat might not get to be the Chief Minister for the next 30 years. Unfortunately Appu Gowda’s (the MLA’s nickname) father who was a legislator had also missed the bus. I hope Yediyurappa keeps his word. In case he doesn’t I will ask the legislator to quit and become an agriculturalist. Not only that I have the power to ensure ten other legislators follow suit.”
In January too, another Lingayat seer Vachananda Swami had made a similar demand that in case Murugesh Nirani was not inducted, the Panchamsali Lingayats would withdraw their support. A furious Yediyurappa who was present at the event then had even threatened to ‘resign and go home’ in case such pressure was applied on him. Later on the CM had said while he respected the seer, only “advice could be given but not ultimatums”.
The Lingayats who are the largest community in the state at 17% are considered to be the backbone of the BJP support base, with Yediyurappa seen as the tallest leader of the community.
Reacting to the latest threat by the Saragandhara Swamiji, S Prakash, spokesperson of the Karnataka BJP said, “It is the prerogative of the CM whom to induct into the cabinet. Anybody can make a demand but it will be the CM in consultation with the party high command who will take a decision.”
Political analyst Manjunath said such repeated demands were also due to the fact that original BJP MLA’s have had to make ‘sacrifices’ in order to accommodate ‘turncoats’ from Congress and JDS who helped the party come to power. “But this is a dangerous game and shows the perils of mixing too much religion into politics. Swamis and seers should not be deciding who gets cabinet berths,” he said.