Karnataka Lok Sabha Election 2024: Fakkireshwar Mutt's Jagadguru Fakira Dingaleshwar Mahaswami Enters Poll Race Amid Lingayat Dissent

Karnataka Lok Sabha Election 2024: Fakkireshwar Mutt's Jagadguru Fakira Dingaleshwar Mahaswami Enters Poll Race Amid Lingayat Dissent

Some veteran leaders and seers from the influential Lingayat community have expressed dissatisfaction, claiming the party lacks social justice in its ticket distribution.

Rajashekara SUpdated: Tuesday, April 09, 2024, 12:22 PM IST
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The head of a prominent Lingayat math in Karnataka has decided to contest against Union Parliamentary Affairs and Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi as an Independent in the forthcoming Lok Sabha election. Fakira Dingaleshwar Swamiji of Shirahatti Fakkireshwar Math, a prominent Veerashaiva Lingayat Math in Gagad, about 300 km from Bengaluru, on Monday announced he will contest as an Independent to protect the interests of the community.

The math has a sizeable following that could alter the outcome of the LS election while other prominent Veerashaiva Lingayat maths have also announced their support to the Swamiji. BJP has repeated the ticket to Joshi, a Brahmin while Congress has fielded Vinod Asooti, a Kuruba (Shepard) candidate.

A group of prominent Veerashaiva Lingayat seers on March 27 held a meeting to protest against renomination of Joshi for the fifth consecutive term. The seers asked the BJP central leadership to withdraw Joshi's candidature and replace him with a Lingayat, the dominant community in Dharwad. They set a March 31 deadline to meet their demand.

The meeting decided like in north India, the seers should also enter politics to protect the interests of community and society. Shirahatti where the math is located is also part of this LS Constituency.

Former chief minister and a prominent Lingayat leader BS Yediyurappa ruled out replacing Joshi. At a press meet in Bengaluru on Monday,Dingaleshwar swamiji,known for his captivating or-atory skills, accused Joshi ofsuppressing the dominantVeerashaiva-Lingayat com-munity, along with others,like Kurubas (Shephard).

Pointing at denial of a ticket to KS Kanthesh, the son of former deputy chief minister KS Eshwarappa, the Swamiji alleged Joshi always ill treated dominant communities, misused Veerashaiva Lingayt maths to stay in power.

Accusing both the national parties of induling in matchfixing, he said, “It is quite evident and looks like a matchfixing between BJP and Congress.” He pointed a finger at Asooti, “The weak Congresscandidate”.

Accusing Congress of ignoring Veerashaiva Lingayat community after coming to power in the state, the seer alleged both the parties betrayed the community. Dingaleswhar Swamiji said it is a “Dharma Yudda” by those who value their dignity and by Kaavidharis (those in saffron robes) against both BJP and Congress. Dharwad voters have decided to field him. Dubbing Joshi as a “hero”, when it comes to politicking, Swamiji said he was a “zero”, when it came to development works. When contacted to comment on allegation levelled against him by the seer, Joshi said: “There is no reaction to Dingaleshwar Swami. Whatever he says is a blessing for me.”

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