Bengaluru, Sep 13 2017, DH News: In an embarrassment to Water Resources Minister M B Patil, Shivakumara Swamiji of Siddaganga Mutt on Tuesday said Lingayats and Veerashaivas are one and the same and opposed any effort to divide the community.
The centenarian seer also rebuked Patil for claiming that the Mutt was in favour of a separate religion status for Lingayats.
“We have learnt that Patil had stated in the media that the Mutt is favour of Lingayat faith. Any effort of this kind to divide the community is not in its interest,” the seer said in a statement issued to the media.
Patil, who has been spearheading the movement for a separate religion tag for Lingayats, had on Sunday claimed the support of the 110-year-old seer after meeting him at the Mutt.
Patil’s move was seen in political circles as an effort by the Congress to woo the support of the community ahead of the Assembly polls.
However, differences have of late cropped up among the community leaders within the ruling party.
While a section of leaders are claiming that Lingayats and Veerashaivas are one and the same, others are of the view that the Lingayat faith is different from that of Veerashaiva.
“The term Veerashaiva is used in the urban areas and among the educated class, while the term Lingayat is used in the rural areas. Both are one and the same and it is appropriate for all the community leaders to arrive at a consensus,” the seer stated.