A meeting of the Lingayat leaders of the Congress, convened by the KPCC working president Eshwar Khandre, came to a conclusion that bickering among the community members in Karnataka will only profit the BJP and decided to stay united
Bengaluru: Karnataka Congress that won just one seat out of 28 in the recently held Lok Sabha election is undergoing a major transformation.
Amidst many veteran leaders speaking out in the open against the party leadership in the state, dissolving of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), the Lingayats showing their unity has come as a big relief to the party.
Prominent Lingayat leader of the Congress, Eshwar Khandre, who is also the working president of the KPCC, convened a meeting of all Lingayat leaders of the party at a five-star hotel in Bengaluru on Wednesday (June 19).
Lok Sabha election results were discussed in the meeting. The leaders are said to have come to a conclusion that division among themselves would only profit the BJP, so the leaders have decided to stay united for the cause of protecting the party.
In the last Assembly election, the BJP widely spoke about Congress's move in separating Lingayats and Veerashaivas and bringing a divide in one of the prominent communities of the state.
When Congress launched the separate Lingayat religion campaign, many Veerashaiva leaders opposed this. The campaign was led by home minister MB Patil, which was opposed by other veteran leaders in the party including Shamanur Shivashankarappa and Khandre.
Even after the Assembly election, Patil was made a minister and this led to disappointment of the above said leaders and the divide between Lingayat leaders in the party grew. The rift was still present and Lingayat leaders gave contrasting opinions about the issue.
The BJP made use of the opportunity it is said that that was one of the major reasons for the BJP's win in the Lingayat dominated constituencies.
In fact, various sub-sects of Lingayat community are on the OBC list in Karnataka. Lingayat leaders have won nearly 90 of the 224 Assembly seats.
In 2014 elections too, BJP had won 17 seats against Congress's nine and JD(S) winning only two seats in Lok Sabha election.
An IANS report stated that in 2014 Lok Sabha election, Congress got 24% Lingayat, 23% Vokkaliga, 49 % SC, 65 % Muslim and 64 % Christian votes.
The BJP had got 58 % Lingayat, 32 % Vokkaliga, 60 % upper caste Hindu and 42 % each of ST and OBC votes while the JD(S) had 38 % Vokkaligga votes, 12 % each of Lingayat, OBC and SC votes.
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Last Updated Jun 20, 2019, 4:39 PM IST