JD(S) leaders here on Monday alleged that their political opponents had “hatched a conspiracy” to deface the party among the Lingayat community by spreading lies in the constituency.
“A lie has been spread in the constituency that all Lingayats have resolved to not vote for the JD(S) this time. Those who did not field a Lingayat in at least one of the seven constituencies in the district are spreading such a lie,” claimed JD(S) MLAs K.M.. Shivalinge Gowda and H.D. Revanna at a convention of the party’s Lingayat leaders and workers.
The party had always taken workers of all communities and castes into its fold. All the prominent Lingayat leaders in the State are from the JD(S), the MLAs claimed.
JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda, soon after becoming Prime Minister, chose J.H. Patel, a Lingayat, for the post of Chief Minister in Karnataka. Even in the 2013 Assembly polls, the party fielded a Lingayat in Belur, said K.M. Shivalinge Gowda. He said that the Congress had not fielded any Lingayat candidates, adding that it had no “moral right to seek Lingayat votes,” as it had not allowed a prominent Lingayat leader to occupy good positions in the party.
Mr. Revanna said that Mr. Deve Gowda had given strength to Veerendra Patil in the 1970s. “When he became Prime Minister, he ensured that J.H. Patel was appointed as Chief Minister and inducted another prominent Lingayat leader, S.R. Bommai, as Minister with an important portfolio into his Cabinet,” he recalled.
The JD(S) held a similar convention of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes workers in the city later in the evening.