The Lingayat Angle In The BS Yediyurappa Situation


BS Yediyurappa met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior BJP leaders last weekend


It is very unusual that a leader from one party tried to intervene in what might just be happening with a leader in another party – but Karnataka politics is always full of surprises.

After speculation of Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa possibly stepping down from his post, fellow Lingayat and Congress leader MB Patil tweeted supporting him.

“BJP may face the wrath of Lingayats, if they ill treat tall leader CM of Karnataka BS Yediyurappa. BJP should value contribution of BS Yediyurappa and treat him with dignity. This is my personal opinion, understanding that the proposed changes maybe internal matters of the BJP,” the tweet read.

As a Lingayat, Mr Yediyurappa represents a dominant caste in Karnataka – seen as a BJP vote base. This is believed to be one of the reasons for his clout in the party over the years.

The BJP was not too pleased with these comments, with the state party unit tweeting: “Sri MB Patil, his guru Sri Siddaramaiah tried their best to divide Veerashaivas and Lingayats. Today, Sri Patil is day-dreaming that he can emerge as Lingayat leader by expressing FAKE concern for Lingayat community. People are not living in Rahul’s Paradise to believe him.”

Mr Patil replied with more praise of Mr Yediyurappa’s ‘toil’ and adding former prime minister and Janata Dal (Secular) leader, HD Deve Gowda and the Congress’s former CM Siddaramaiah in the roll call of honours.

Speculation about the possible resignation of the BJP’s first and only chief minister in south India peaked after a sudden trip he made to Delhi last weekend – during which Mr Yediyurappa met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior BJP leaders. The 78-year-old veteran has been denying any discussion of his resignation.

BS Yediyurappa completed two years in office for this term on July 26 and has called for a state legislature party meeting on that day.

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