Lingayat seer’s demand for Cabinet berth to MLA irks Yediyurappa

Davanagere: Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Tuesday got visibly irked and offered to resign while attending an event here, after a seer of Panchamsali sect of Lingayats, Swami Vachananda, demanded ministerial berth for BJP MLA Murugesh Nirani.

At an event of the sect in Hanagawadi on Tuesday, Swami Vachananda demanded a Cabinet seat for Nirani from Yediyurappa and added that he would lose the support of the Panchamsali Lingayats if the demands were not met.

“Yediyurappa will lose the support of Panchamasali Lingayats if Murugesh Nirani is not accommodated,” the seer said to the Chief Minister who was seated right next to him.

An irked Yediyurappa abruptly rose from his seat and stopped the seer halfway in his speech and even touched his feet before adding, “You can make suggestions being a Swami, but please do not demand. It does not suit your position as a seer.”

Later on, addressing the audience, Yediyurappa urged the Swamy to understand his position and not make any demands.

He added that he was “ready to quit” if demands would be made instead of suggestions.

“17 legislators had quit for me to become Chief Minister. It is their sacrifice and Panchamasali Mutt’s blessings with which I have become the Chief Minister. You can suggest me how to govern for 3 years, but if you are not willing to accept my request then I’m ready to quit and go home,” he said.

“I’m not hungry for power. I have become Chief Minister four times with your blessings and have tried my best to solve the problems faced by farmers,” Yediyurappa added.

Speaking to reporters on the issue on Wednesday, he said, “There has been no discussion yet about accommodating ministership to Panchamasali Lingayat community.”

He also extended his wishes to the people on the occasion of Makar Sankranti and added that he will take part in a program in Hubli with BJP President Amit Shah.

“On February 5, I will present the state budget, our main agenda will be agriculture,” Yediyurappa said.

There had been speculations of a Karnataka Cabinet expansion taking place in the beginning of 2020.

The expansion is likely to take place for many of portfolios held by the Chief Minister with many of the 12 MLAs, elected in the by-elections, also expected to be accommodated in the Cabinet.

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