Congress supporters convene meeting to prove that not all Veerashaivas support BJP
BJP files complaint with the Returning Officer against Mr. Kharge for attending the samavesha
Opponents of Kharge accused of becoming jittery over good response to the meeting
Gulbarga: Move of Veerashaiva community members to support the Congress candidate in Gulbarga Lok Sabha Constituency M. Mallikarjun Kharge caused a stir among some members of the community.
While a group of BJP leaders led by Sharanu Sajjanshetty tried to stage a protest in front of the Veershaiva Kalyana Mantap, the venue of “Sharanabhimanigala Samavesha”, a former Corporator in the Gulbarga City Corporation Machendranath Mulige, who belongs to the BJP tried to disrupt the meeting when the former Deputy Chairman of the Legislative Council B.R. Patil was addressing the gathering.
Even as Mr. Mulige was seen shouting that it was improper to seek votes for a particular candidate, Congress workers pounced on him and literally dragged him and pushed him out of the venue of the meeting. Later, the police who were present outside the meeting hall persuaded Mr. Mulige to leave the venue without creating further problems.
Speaking for the organisers, Bhimashankar Bilagundi and Suryakant Koralli clarified that the meeting was called by supporters of Congress to put an end to the campaign that all Veershaivas were backing BJP and making it clear that a large section of the community still believed in secular principles preached by 12th Century social reformer Basaveshwara and opposed the communal policies of BJP.
Mr. Bilagundi said the organisers had given the community members pamphlets and invitations in which it was made clear that it was a meeting of the followers of the “Sharanas” who wanted to reiterate that they would support Mr. Kharge in the Lok Sabha polls and it was not a meeting of a particular community as alleged by the BJP. Mr. Koralli and Mr. Bilagundi said BJP which was spreading rumours that the entire Veerashaiva community was behind BJP had become jittery over the unprecedented response to the meeting and wanted to disrupt the meeting at any cost.
“We have not invited those who were opposed to the Congress or Mr. Kharge to the meeting and why did the BJP workers try to disrupt the meeting when they were not invited,” Mr. Bilagundi said.
The BJP leaders also filed a complaint with the Returning Officer against Mr. Kharge for participating in the meeting which according to them was in violation of code of conduct.
Mr. Bilagundi clarified that they had taken due permission from the Returning Officer for organising the meeting and there was nothing illegal about it.