Bengaluru: Shamanur Shivashankarappa is a senior member of the Congress party. The senior leader is known to speak his mind, even if it means incurring the wrath of others in the party. Of course, the latest statement eulogising Mallikarjun Kharge and saying Modi is afraid of Kharge is something that the Congress will welcome with both hands. But on earlier occasions, Shamanur Shivashankarappa had minced no words in expressing his displeasure, with his own party members and that is why the Congress needs to be wary of him.

1. Shivashankarappa unhappy with former CM Siddaramaiah being felicitated

 In the last three to four months preceding the Karnataka state elections in 2018, the then chief minister Siddarmaiah’s government had batted for a separate religion for Lingayats. At that point in time, Shamanur Shivashankarappa was the head of the Akhila Bharatiya Veerashaiva Mahasabha (ABVM). When Siddarmaiah recommended to the centre for a separate religion tag, Shamanu was also happy about it. But later, he openly said that the move was aimed at scoring political brownie points keeping elections in mind. A little later, Siddaramaiah was also felicitated by the ABVM. A few days after this, Shivashankarappa expressed his displeasure over Siddaramaiah’s felicitation. A miffed Siddaramaiah had even summoned Shivashankarappa’s son and expressed his anger and indignation over the issue of felicitation.  

2. When Shivashankarappa said he would use his Benz instead of government car

Two years were left for the then chief minister Siddaramaiah’s tenure to end. So, he was making desperate attempts to give disgruntled elements a chance in his government. As per reports at that point in time, Shamanur would lose his portfolio as Horticulture minister. When words reached his ears that he might have to relinquish his post, he said in his inimitable style, ““All these days I was travelling by Innova (govenment-provided car) but now, I will travel in a Benz (a personal vehicle)”

3. When Shivashankarappa called home minister MB Patil a ‘monkey’

In relation to the religious tag debate for Lingayat religion, Shamanur Shivashankarappa and Karnataka home minister MB Patil had a huge joust, with Shamanur Shivashankarappa even terming him a ‘monkey’. Shamanur had said that MB Patil had taken to devious ways. and it was he and another BJP leader Prabhakar Kore who had counselled MB Patil to mend his ways.

It is in this way that Shamanur has never shied away from speaking his mind. At his ripe old age of almost 90, he continues to talk without fear of favour.