Karnataka election: BJP seeks Lingayat MLAs’ support, whom Congress gave ‘special status’

New Delhi: Lingayats, who make up for 17 percent of Karnataka’s population and are considered to influence at least 100 out of 224 constituencies in the state, were given ‘minority status’ by Siddaramaiah led Congress government, possibly for earning their influence through votes.

The Bharatiya Janata Party now seeks the support from Lingayat MLAs who could be unhappy with Congress and JD(S) alliance and does not want H D Kumaraswamy as chief minister, who is a Vokkaliga. Vokkaligas, who are already angry with Congress’s move to give minority status to Lingayats, united in favour of the JD(S).

Lingayats and Vokaliggas, a community smaller than the former, have remained divided after Kumaraswamy refused to renounce the CM’s chair in 2007 and honour a tenure-sharing deal with BJP. In this view, there are many MLAs in both Congress as well as JD(S) who could back BJP candidate BS Yeddyurappa.

Meanwhile, Yeddyurappa has taken oath as Karnataka Chief Minister today; the former CM said that the BJP went against the Constitution. “The matter is pending before the Court. We will tell people how the BJP is going against the Constitution,” Siddaramaiah told ANI.