Tumkuru: Karnataka’s powerful Lingayat community seers have thrown their full weight behind Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and warned the state BJP leaders not to create any obstacles for his government.
According to reports, nearly a dozen Lingayat seers have demanded the BJP top brass to let BSY, as Yediyurappa is popularly known, continue as the state’s CM for the next two years. It may be noted that the Karnataka Chief Minister himself belongs to the powerful Lingayat community of the state.
The seers from the community have warned the disgruntled state BJP leaders not to harass Yediyurappa till his term as Chief Minister gets over. The statement from the Lingayat seers came after BJP national General Secretary Arun Singh put an end to all speculation over leadership change in the state.
Following Arun Singh’s remarks, Yediyurappa too asserted that he would be at the helm of affairs for the next two years. The 78-year-old Lingayat strongman also said his responsibility has increased because of the trust shown in him by the BJP high command.
Around 12 top seers, under the aegis of Shri Shadakshara Bruhanmatha, said that Yediyurappa was the main reason for the BJP to gain a foothold in Karnataka. “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 seers stated. Taking serious note of a section of BJP leaders cornering Yediyurappa over his age, the seers said that associating age with performance is nothing but an insult to a leader who has been relentlessly working for the party.
“We seers feel that repeated silly remarks about his age annoy not only us but also the entire community which is upset with such meaningless remarks made by his own partymen,” the seers said.
Buttressing their arguments by citing late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M Karunanidhi, the seers observed that the country had witnessed CMs performing their duties perfectly even after getting old and becoming wheelchair-bound. “We need to remember that Karunanidhi served as the CM of Tamil Nadu in a wheelchair. We (seers) support Yediyurappa and he should serve as the CM for the next two years,” the seers said.
The seers contended that those who raise the issue of age forget that it was Yediyurappa who toiled day and night to ensure that the BJP crossed the 100-seat mark in Karnataka.
“But for his efforts, BJP would not cross 100 seats. He has been wholeheartedly accepted by the Lingayat community as its leader. The community will not tolerate if anyone tries to topple him citing his age as the criteria. He should not be cornered on his age anymore,” the seers said.
They also said that the Lingayat community votes for the BJP only because of Yediyurappa. Before the reports of leadership change were circulated by the party`s top leaders, Yediyurappa’s son BY Vijayendra, who is also a BJP vice-president, had met several Lingayat seers on the pretext of a ‘courtesy call.’
Meanwhile, BJP’s Karnataka in-charge Arun Singh is coming to Bengaluru for a three-day visit on June 16. He will be meeting the state cabinet members along with some party MLAs.
A section of BJP MLAs in Karnataka had been openly demanding that the party`s top brass should provide them a platform to air their grievances against the style of functioning of Yediyurappa.
These leaders are of the view that Yediyurappa had been given more prominence than he deserved, and their main grouse has been the rise of his two sons – BY Raghvendra, who is a Lok Sabha MP from Shivamogga district, and his younger brother Vijayendra, who is seen as a shadow CM in Karnataka by his own partymen.
(With Agency Inputs)