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Lingayat Religion Tag Will Backfire on Siddaramaiah: Shobha Karandlaje

Speaking to News18’s Deepa Balakrishnan, Karandlaje also shunned any suggestion that the BJP is sidelining its state leaders.


Updated:May 5, 2018, 11:34 AM IST
Lingayat Religion Tag Will Backfire on Siddaramaiah: Shobha Karandlaje
File photo of BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje.
With less than a week to go for polling in the Karnataka Assembly elections, BJP’s firebrand MP Shobha Karandlaje brings the narrative back to cow protection, and how the Lingayat issue will backfire on the Congress. Speaking to News18’s Deepa Balakrishnan, Karandlaje also shunned any suggestion that the BJP is sidelining its state leaders.

Here are edited excerpts:

One of your manifesto promises is about the re-introduction of cow slaughter bill. What prompted this?

Our government even last time introduced this cow slaughter bill. But the Governor rejected that and sent it to the President. We want to protect our cows, we want to protect farmers by doing organic farming. Yeddyurappaji worked towards organic farming even during the tenure of our government in Karnataka last time. It is in the interest of our feelings. Cow is our 'shraddha' so we want to protect cows.

So, this is an emotive battle?

It is not an emotive battle. Whatever Mahatma Gandhi said we want to implement.

Going by the pulse on the ground now, with just days to go for polling, how much of an influence will the Lingayat factor be?

Lingayats and Veerashaivas are together for centuries. Siddaramaiah tried to divide them, but this will boomerang on Siddarmaiah. They together support Yeddyurappa and want him as the CM.

So they will vote en masse now?

Yes, they will vote en masse vote for Yeddyurappaji. They will not even see the candidates, this time no candidates are important for Lingayats. Their target is that Yeddyurappa should become CM.

Yeddyurappa’s son Vijayendra not getting a ticket, will it affect the party in old Mysore region?

When Yeddyurappaji is there, nobody else matters. I think Vijayendra is also travelling in that region

But it has raised questions.

No, I don’t want to comment, I don't want to answer.

But it raised questions that state leaders are sidelined by your national leadership.

This is not true. Yeddyurappa is our leader. All national leaders are focussed on Yeddyurappa. He is the tallest mass leader, that's why all candidates expect him to come (to campaign in their constituencies). He has addressed 120 sabhas. He is the crowd-puller.

Congress has repeatedly alleged that in the BJP state leaders are not relevant.

In Congress, the focus is on no other leader except Siddaramaiah. Congress leaders are unhappy about dictatorship and arrogance of Siddaramaiah.

Are you worried about the prospect of a hung Assembly?

Not at all, we will get a majority and reach our target. We suddenly saw criticism of the JDS by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, just two days after he praised former PM and JDS chief Deve Gowda. About Deve Gowda, he (PM Modi) told about the culture of India. Rahul Gandhi should learn this…to respect elders. On Thursday, the PM said JDS cannot form their government on their own. That's true, any Kannadiga will tell you that. What PM Modi said is the truth.

But your doors are open for talk with the JDS?

Not at all. On our own, we will get the majority.

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| Edited by: Puja Menon
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