Bommai’s choice aimed at keeping BJP’s Lingayat voter base intact

A file photo of outgoing Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurrappa with his successor Basavaraj Bommai.   | Photo Credit: H.S. Manjunath

Under the scanner for replacing its ageing Lingayat strongman B.S. Yediyurappa as Chief Minister, the elevation of Basavaraj Bommai is seen as placating the Lingayat voter base, the BJP’s strength in the North Karnataka region.

Mr. Bommai, belonging to the powerful Sadar subsect of the Lingayats, could keep the Lingayat vote base intact. “Though the community is still hurt with the resignation of Mr. Yediyurappa, it is expected to accept Mr. Bommai as a consensus candidate,” said H.M. Renuka Prasanna, secretary of the All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha, welcoming the party’s decision. “This is an appropriate and good selection.”

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An important case

Mr. Bommai is expected to gain acceptance because the community in the second half of the 1980s saw his father late S.R. Bommai, the then Chief Minister, losing power in an unceremonious way when his government was dismissed. The S.R. Bommai case that the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the late leader is cited as the important case study in the Centre-State relationship.

Also in the Lingayat vote bank politics, the Sadar sect plays a crucial role in winning seats for the BJP in central Karnataka and parts of the Mumbai Karnataka region. Of the BJP’s 41 Lingayat-Veerashaiava legislators, 10 belong to the Sadar sub sect. Sirigere Mutt — one of the most powerful Lingayat mutts in Karnataka — also belongs to the Sadar sub sect. The mutt is seen as very active in mobilising support for a political cause, and a number of small mutts that have local influence follow the subtle political message that the Sirigere mutt signals.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 11:18:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/bommais-choice-aimed-at-keeping-bjps-lingayat-voter-base-intact/article35567471.ece

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