Lingayat seers rally behind Yediyurappa, tell BJP not to trouble him
CM says he will abide by the decision of party high command
Bengaluru: Karnataka's powerful Lingayat community seers on Tuesday threw their full weight behind Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and warned the BJP high command not to create any obstacles for his government.
Nearly a dozen Veerashaiva-Lingayat seers led by Balehosur Mutt head Dingaleshwara Swamiji demanded that the BJP top brass allow Yediyurappa to continue as the Chief Minister for the remainder of the term. The Chief Minister himself belongs to the powerful Lingayat community in the state.
The seers led by Dingaleshwara Swamiji visited the CM's residence on Tuesday as a show of solidarity. The sources said that Yediyurappa told the mutt seers that he would abide by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) high command's decision.
Speaking to the media persons, Dingaleshwara Swamiji said, "When we met Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa today, he said he did not wish to speak on the issue, adding that the decision by the party high command would be final. Yediyurappa told us to let the high command take its call. He seemed to be happy."
The seer's statement led to the speculation that Yediyurappa has already been told to quit his post and is prepared himself for the situation. However, the mutt seer warned the central BJP leaders that if they were unhappy with Yediyurappa's leadership, it showed that the party did not think about the future of the State.
As many as 500 religious seers from across the State will hold meetings to chalk out future plans supporting Yediyurappa.
Political experts claim that Yediyurappa's body language seemed to be not so confident after returning from New Delhi. It seems that he has been told to announce his retirement on July 25 during the party legislators' meeting.
"He is often being cornered and harassed. We condemn this as seers. People should stop troubling the Chief Minister and start cooperating with him," the one of the Lingayat seers stated requesting anonymity.
The 78-year-old Lingayat strongman was the main reason for the BJP to gain a foothold in Karnataka. But the party sources now claim that the central BJP leadership has taken a decision to appoint a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) face in the State who would aggressively pursue Hindutva agenda.
According to the reports, Union Minister Prahlad Joshi, former minister and Assembly Speaker Vishveshara Hegde Kageri, BJP MLAs Basavana Gouda Patil Yatnal and Aravind Bellad and Minister Murugesh Nirani's names are doing the rounds for the CM's post.
The party high command has also taken care that CM Yediyurappa does not take any major decisions until he resigns from the post and is very keen on giving an honourable exit by offering deputy chief minister post to his son B.Y. Vijayendra and State president to him.
Yediyurappa, known to take impulsive and bold decisions, is well prepared to face the present situation according to sources.
Maintaining that he will abide by the BJP top brass decision, he is trying to send a message that Veerashaiva-Lingayat seers will revolt against the party if he is side-lined. It is said that the Lingayat community across Karnataka votes for the BJP only because of Yediyurappa.