Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday said no decision has been taken on announcing a Lingayat leader as BJP candidate for the chief minister’s post.
Talking to mediapersons, Bommai underlined that the issue was discussed in the community leaders’ meeting at former chief minister B. S. Yediyurappa’s residence on Wednesday night.
The issue was discussed in the backdrop of the Congress’ allegation that the BJP is sidelining the Lingayat leadership.
The Congress intensified the attack after BJP leaders — former Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi and ex CM Jagadish Shettar — switched to the Congress.
However, the Lingayat leaders at the meeting said that that if the BJP announces a leader from Lingayat community as its Chief Minister’s face, it would counter Congress’s charges and send a message which will consolidate Lingayat vote bank.
Chief Minister Bommai maintained that the demand would be brought to the notice of the high command.
“At the residence of Yediyurappa, Lingayat community leaders discussed the political scenario. The focus was on countering the Congress party’s propaganda. The suggestion for Lingayat CM came up. Union Minister and in-charge of elections Dharmendra Pradhan was also present,” the chief minister said.
The Union Minister had assured that he will convey the sentiment to the high command, Bommai said.
“Congress party is anti-Lingayat. From 1967 to till date, they can’t make one Lingayat Chief Minister. In between Virendra Patil was given power for only nine months and he was not given appropriate treatment. His dethroning was announced at the airport. Another Lingayat leader Rajshekar Murthy was also not treated well,” Chief Minister Bommai said.
“Congress leaders have cheated Dalits, backwards and Lingayats,” Bommai added.
He maintained that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will come for campaigning for the Assembly polls once the nomination filing process is completed.