Shivashankarappa, who represents the Davanagere South in the assembly, is also the president of the All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha. He also batted for the CM's post for a leader from the community, barely days after the AICC issued a gag order to the party men not to air opinions on these posts in public.
Veerashaiva-Lingayats are also Karnataka's largest and politically influential community, represented in the assembly by former BJP CMs BS Yediyurappa and Basavaraj Bommai, among others.
While the veteran leader's comments have left the Congress on the defensive, the BJP has jumped at the opportunity, seeking to amplify Shivashankarappa's sentiments and capitalise on them ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
Siddaramaiah did not agree with the perception of his party colleague, insisting that his government had treated everyone equally. "Ours is a secular government, which functions above caste lines. All our programmes including Anna Bhagya, Shakti, Gruha Jyothi and Gruha Lakshmi reach members of all communities," the CM told the media in Bengaluru.
Shivashankarappa, whose son SS Mallikarjun is a minister in Siddaramaiah's Cabinet, had told the media on Saturday that Lingayats were being sidelined under the Congress, and most important positions in the government were being occupied by non-Lingayat officials.
Yediyurappa, Bommai and BY Vijayendra strongly backed Shivashankarappa, while urging the community members to stay alert against the Congress. Bommai said the CM owed a reply to his party colleague's comments.
- Front Page
- Pure Politics
- Bottom Line
- Deep Dive
- Learn more about our print editionMore
- India Sees Normal Rainfall Despite El Niño Conditions
India received ‘normal’ rainfall during the four-month-long monsoon season despite El Niño conditions, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Saturday.Byju’s Puts Up a Two-week Notice for FY22 Results
Byju's said on Saturday that it would in the second week of October present the audited fiscal-2022 results to its board, advisory council as well as investors Peak XV Partners and Prosus that have recently withdrawn their representatives from the edtech firm’s board.‘No Inflation Risk from Rising Oil Prices’
The latest spike in oil prices may have a marginal impact on India's FY24 wholesale and retail inflation, said economists. However, they said crude sustaining above the $90-level could be a downside risk for core inflation as companies begin passing on high input costs.
Read More News on
Download The Economic Times News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.
ETPrime stories of the day
12 mins read
12 mins read
8 mins read