New Delhi: Daring BJP President Amit Shah and party’s Karnataka Chief Ministerial candidate B.S. Yeddyuruppa to clarify their position on the Lingayats, Congress on Monday said Karnataka cabinet’s decision of granting status of religious minority to the sect should not be seen as a “political move”.
“It is inappropriate to link the decision of Karnataka Government vis-a-vis declaration of Lingayat Samaj as a minority community to the political processes,” said Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.
He noted that the Jain Community had for years had made a similar demand, and the then UPA government had got the demand of the community examined, following due process.
“Many people objected and said Jain Samaj is part of Aggarwal Samaj and that is why should not be separately branded as such or included in the minority community.
“After examination of all the evidences available and the historical facts, the then UPA government came to a conclusion that Jain community has to be part of the minority community,” he added.
He said when Lingayat Samaj raised the similar demand, the Karnataka government followed due process.
“It got the entire evidence, facts and claims examined. Counter-claims were also received and they too were examined.
“The government in its wisdom in adherence to the demand of the community and based on the facts has decided to include the Lingayat Samaj as part of the minority community, so that the benefits that extend to the minority community can also be extended to them,” he added.
Surjewala asked Amit Shah and Yeddyuruppa to clarify if they supported or opposed the decision.
In a bid to woo the Lingayats, a dominant community in the state, ahead of the assembly elections, the Karnataka cabinet on Monday decided to grant them the status of a separate religion.