All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha pushes for Veerashaiva-­Lingayat leader for CM’s post


PTI, May 16, 2023, 8:31 PM IST

Bengaluru: Amid intense lobbying for the Chief Minister’s post in Karnataka, the powerful All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha on Tuesday urged Congress National President Mallikarjun Kharge to consider a Veerashaiva-Lingayat community leader for the coveted position.

The apex body of Veerashaiva-Lingayats also requested Kharge to accommodate or give cabinet berths proportionate to the number of MLAs of the community elected in the Assembly polls.

Mahasabha President, veteran Congress leader and MLA Shamanur Shivashankarappa has written a letter to Kharge in this regard.

”The Congress party had given 46 seats to the Veerashaiva- ­Lingayat community. Out of 46 seats contested 34 of our community have won i.e., 74 per cent is the successful rate,” the letter said.

Pointing out that the community has played a major role in electing (candidates from) other smaller communities in other 50 constituencies, the letter said, ”This shows that the traditional voters of BJP have shifted their loyalty to Congress party thereby supporting it to win 135 constituencies in the State.”

”In view of the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections in 2024, we strongly feel that we have to hold back (retain) the support of the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community with the Congress, so that the party shall get the maximum possible number of Members of Parliaments from our state.”

State Congress President D K Shivakumar (Vokkaliga) and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah (Kuruba) are locked in an intense power struggle over who will lead the government, after the Congress stormed to power by winning 135 seats in the May 10 elections to the 224-member Karnataka Assembly.

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