Lingayats are traditionally considered to be a major components of the BJP’s vote bank across the state, especially in north Karnataka bordering Maharashtra. In a key political development ahead of the 2018 state assembly polls in Karnataka, the Congress govt on Monday sought the Central government’s nod for giving Lingayats a separate religion status.
Putting the ball in the Center’s court, the Karnataka Cabinet on Monday decided to go ahead with the recommendations made by the Justice Nagamohan Das committee.
In a press conference later in the day, Minister MB Patil confirmed that the separate religion tag has been sought for both Lingayats and Lingayat-Veerashaivas (Veerashaivas who follow Basavanna) as recommended by the expert committee .
The state government-appointed Nagamohan Das committee, which was formed in December 2017 to decide on the matter, had suggested that Lingayats be identified as a separate religion.