Siddaramaiah should learn to not play divisive politics: Amit Shah
BJP chief said the Siddaramaiah government’s move was aimed at preventing BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa, considered a Lingayat strongman, from becoming the chief minister.Updated: Mar 26, 2018 21:15 IST
BJP president Amit Shah cited on Monday legendary Kannada poet KV Puttappa’s writings to accuse the Congress government in Karnataka of trying to divide society after it accorded minority religion status to the state’s influential Lingayat and Veerashaiva-Lingayat communities.
Chief minister Siddaramaiah is going against the philosophy of the poet, popularly known as Kuvempu, who called Karnataka the land where everyone lived harmoniously, Shah alleged at a rally in Thirthahalli in Shivamogga district.
“In his writings Kuvempu focused on farmers and the place of Karnataka in India. The kind of politics the Siddaramaiah government is playing will remind the people that he should understand the state anthem penned by Kuvempu and learn to not play divisive politics,” he said.
The BJP chief’s criticism came after the Siddaramaiah government recognised Lingayats and Veerashaiva-Lingayats, those who follow 12th century philosopher Basaveshwara’s teachings, as a separate minority religion.
Shah, who is on a two-day tour of poll-bound Karnataka, visited a memorial to Kuvempu as well as the Siddaganga Math in Tumakuru — a Lingayat shrine that had approved the state government’s minority religion move.
He sought the blessings of Sri Shivakumara Swami of Siddhaganga Math. The meeting with the seer is seen as an attempt to reach out to the Lingayats, who are numerically and politically influential in the state and form a major voter base for the BJP.
Shah continued his criticism during a convention of coconut growers, in which he said the Siddaramaiah government’s move was aimed at preventing BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa, considered a Lingayat strongman, from becoming the chief minister.
“I want to tell the people in Karnataka that if the BJP wins a majority, we will make Yeddyurappa the chief minister,” he said.
Shah compared the relationship between the state and central governments to that of an electricity generation unit and a transformer.
“The Siddaramaiah government is like a transformer that has burnt. Don’t just change the government, uproot it and throw it away and bring Yeddyurappa to power,” he said.
(With Inputs from PTI)
First Published: Mar 26, 2018 21:15 IST