Lingayats and Veerashaiva-Lingayats notified as religious minority, subject to central approval

Karnataka The Mahasabha however said it do not oppose the minority religion tag accorded to the community

Beginning the process of translating the State Cabinet's decision, of granting religious minority status to Lingayats and Veerashaiva Lingayats who believe in Basavanna's ideology, into action, the State government issued a notification on Thursday. The Lingayat issue received support from the Karnataka Government but now it's up to the Central Government to decide on the Lingayat status.

The Karnataka govt on Monday accepted the recommendations of the Karnataka State Minorities Commission to grant religious minority status to Lingayats and Veershaiva Lingayats.

The committee also condemned the statements given by political leaders, organisations, mutts and heads of religious institutes that the appeal given in 2013 has been rejected. The central government will decide the fate of the proposal, now.

BENGALURU:The keenly awaited meeting of the All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha to be held in Bengaluru on Friday is expected to set the tone for the Veerashaiva-Lingayat politics in the state ahead of the assembly election.

Sources added minister for food and civil supplies Ram Vilas Paswan was among those who straight away pointed out that under the existing law, only Dalits belonging to Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh communities were entitled to quotas in jobs and educational institutions. However, speaking to Express, a senior functionary of the Mahasabha ruled out any dramatic change in the Mahasabha's stand. Shivashankarappa, on his part, had on Wednesday categorically stated that he is opposed to according religious minority religion status to Lingayats and treating Veerashaivas as just a part of Lingayats. He clarified that without understanding the nuances of the inclusion of Veerashaiva-Lingayats (believers in Basavanna's philosophy), Shivashankarappa gave his assent to the government decision.

"On the surface it looks like the minority status given to our community comes without any benefit". The Nagamohan Committee recommendations only include Lingayats and not the Veerashaivas. "We have come to a decision that the entire sect should be called Veerashaiva-Lingayat, and it must together be considered a minority", he said. Congress's main objective was to divide the votes that BJP needs for winning the elections.

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