Congress has humiliated Lingayats, not the BJP, says Yatnal

People will teach a lesson to defectors like Jagadish Shettar and Laxman Savadi, according to the BJP MLA

April 27, 2023 09:43 pm | Updated 09:43 pm IST - Belagavi

Basanagouda Patil Yatnal speaking to journalists in Belagavi on Thursday.

Basanagouda Patil Yatnal speaking to journalists in Belagavi on Thursday. | Photo Credit: P.K. Badiger

Unlike the Congress, the BJP has never humiliated Lingayats, Member of Legislative Assembly Basanagouda Patil Yatnal said in Belagavi on Thursday.

“If you look at the political history of Karnataka, it is the Congress that has ill treated its Lingayat leaders. Its high command insulted and humiliated veterans S. Nijalingappa and Veerendra Patil. It has never given any important party positions to Lingayat leaders. Lingayat politicians in the State have got their due respect only after the entry of the BJP into State politics,” he said.

“It is the BJP that made B.S. Yediyurappa, Basavaraj Bommai and Jagadish Shettar Chief Ministers and Laxman Savadi the Deputy Chief Minister. Several other Lingayat community leaders were made Ministers, MLAs, MLCs and MPs. It is wrong to say that Lingayats have been given a raw deal by the BJP,” he told journalists.

He criticised Laxman Savadi for his claim that he suffered injustice in the BJP. Mr. Savadi has forgotten that he was sitting at home idle after being defeated in the Assembly polls, when the party made him the Deputy Chief Minister. In fact, it was Mahesh Kumthalli who suffered injustice.

“Though the BJP promised to induct all the 17 legislators who joined the BJP into the Cabinet, we could not induct Mr. Kumthalli. But he did not complain. He is silently engaged in his campaign in Athani. Mr. Savadi should realise that he became Deputy Chief Minister only because of Mr. Kumthalli’s decision to quit the Congress and join the BJP,” Mr. Yatnal said.

The leaders who joined the Congress after quitting the BJP should realise that their exit does not affect the BJP in anyway, he said. The people will teach a lesson to defectors like Mr. Shettar and Mr. Savadi, he said.

He said that it is meaningless of the Congress filing a criminal complaint against Union Home Minister Amit Shah, as the Congress State unit president is a man of criminal antecedents. “KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar has no moral right to talk about Mr. Shah. People of the State live in an atmosphere of fear created by Mr. Shivakumar,” he added.

It is ridiculous to see Mr. Shivakumar speaking against corruption. He was arrested on corruption charge and an inquiry is still on, Mr. Yatnal said.

To a query, he said that Mr. Savadi should not complain against the style of functioning of BJP national general secretary (Organisation) B.L. Santosh, as it was Mr. Santosh who was responsible for Mr. Savadi becoming Deputy Chief Minister.

Mr. Yatnal said that Congress leader Siddaramaiah has accused Lingayat Chief Ministers of being corrupt.

He said that the BJP can no longer be termed as an anti-Dalit party, as it has significantly increased the quantum of reservation for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

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