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Karnataka BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa today hit out at the Siddaramaiah government for using issues like state flag and separate religion status to Veerashaivas/ Lingayats for political reasons ahead of the assemblypolls.
"At a time when the election is coming in about 45-50 days, when the election code of conduct will come into place shortly, what is your intention in coming up with Lingayat/Veerashaiva or Karnataka flag issue?" Yeddyurappa asked.
Amid reports of differences between ministers,the cabinet yesterday discussed inconclusively recommending to the Centre to accord "religious minority" status to the dominant community.
It will take up the issue again at the next cabinet meeting on March 14.
According to reports, differences between Ministers in the cabinet belonging to both Veerashaivas and Lingayats resulted in no decision being arrived at.
Commenting on differences within the cabinet onthe issue, Yeddyurappa said "Wait for some time.... you people know and have reported about what is happening in the cabinet. You wait and see how twists and turns will happen."
"Despite the issue being discussed in the cabinet for about three-and-half hours (yesterday), it was inconclusive, they have deferred," he told reporters.
The demand for a separate religion tag to Veerashaiva/ Lingayat faiths has surfaced from the numerically strong and politically-influential community, amidst resentment from within over projecting the two communities as the same.
While one section led by Akhila Bharata Veerashaiva Mahasabha has demanded separate religion status, asserting that Veerashaivas and Lingayats are the same, the other wants it only for Lingayats as they believe Veerashaivais are one among the seven sects of Shaivites, which is part ofHinduism.
Karnataka State Minorities Commission had formed aseven member committee, headed by retired high court Judge H N Nagamohan Das on the issue, which submitted its report on March 2, stating that Lingayats in Karnataka may be considered as a religious minority.
On BJP's stand on the proposed official stateflag, Yeddyurappa said his party does not haveany reservation if the common man agrees, but questioned it's timing.
"We don't want to make any comment on this issue...common man's opinion should be taken... if the common managrees, we also agree, we don't have any reservation," he said.
Questioning the government what they weredoing for over four-and-half years, he said "when you areabout to go home, why are you playing this as a politicalgame. Why did you remember the flag all of a sudden?"
The ruling Congress earlier today had questioned the silence of BJP on the proposed official state flag for Karnataka, a day after it was unveiled by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah ahead of the assembly polls.