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Lingayats Split with Veerashaiva Mahasabha in Karnataka, Float Own Organisation

The new organisation, Jaagrathika Lingayat Mahasabhe, is set to take forward its campaign for a separate religion status for Lingayats.

Revathi Rajeevan | CNN-News18

Updated:January 23, 2018, 9:34 PM IST
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Lingayats Split with Veerashaiva Mahasabha in Karnataka, Float Own Organisation
File photo: Lingayats took out a rally in Bidar seeking an independent religion status (File photo/ Twitter/@Lingayatas)

Bengaluru: The Lingayat camp of the Akhila Bharatha Veerashaiva Mahasabha on Tuesday formally split with the organisation following months of dispute over the separate religion issue in Karnataka.

The new organisation, Jaagrathika Lingayat Mahasabhe, is set to take forward its campaign for a separate religion status for Lingayats.

The split follows months of dispute between the two - Veerashaiva and Lingayats - over the separate religion issue. While the former claims that the two are same, several leaders in the latter disagree. Both camps have religious leaders and members of the ruling Congress party including ministers.

"In the 1870 we were a separate religion. We were not part of Hinduism. This doesn't mean we are anti-Hindu. It's a historical truth that we were a separate religion. We were added to Hinduism later. We have records," said MB Patil, state minister for water resources.

The members have been reiterating that they have sufficient records to prove their claim ever since the demand for the independent religion status came up.

The announcement of the new organisation comes at a time when the expert committee appointed by the government to look into the demands of a separate religion for the Veerashaiva-Lingayat faith has asked for six more months of time to submit its report.

The new organisation, the leaders claimed, will have a youth wing, women's wing and a platform for NRI Lingayats and is hoping to rope in around 25,000 members in two months. Following this, the organisation also plans to hold rallies across the state to strengthen their demand.

Lingayats form 17% of Karnataka's population and the Congress backing their demand is seen as an attempt to gain the Lingayat votes.

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| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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