Anguished Veerashaiva seers to Siddharamiah “Don’t Divide Dharma, Allow Us To Focus On Charity And Social Upliftment.”   Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah (Hemant Mishra/Mint via Getty Images)

A delegation of pontiffs from the Veerashaiva Mutt have sent a warning to Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on granting minority status to Lingayats, saying that the Congress would “face the wrath of society”, reports Star of Mysore. Led by seers of the Kanshi and Ujjini mutts, around 50 seers met the chief minister at his house ‘Krishna’ asking him to reconsider the decision and instead recognise ‘Veerashaiva-Lingayat’ as a religion.

Lingayat leaders have warned of launching a protest unless the state sends a recommendation to the Centre. Several Lingayat seers met in Dharwad to counter the Veerashaivite movement.

An ‘expert committee’ has recommended granting minority status to Lingayats, a move that has caused a rift within the Congress itself with a Veerashaiva-Lingayat divide within the Cabinet.

Lingayat seers have opposed the minority tag for Veerashaiva members, claiming them to be “hijack seers”, and have said that they will fight out the battle legally. The seers have urged the government not to give in to the Veerashaiva demands and take a decision in the upcoming cabinet meeting on 19 March.

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