Veerappa Moily said that the party put its hands in the Lingayat issue when it was not needed.
Hours after it became clear that the Congress could not win a majority in Assembly elections in Karnataka on its own, its senior leader Veerappa Moily today slammed his own party, saying that it was the Lingayat card that did in the ruling party in the state. When asked about the party’s dismal performance in the southern state, Moily said that the party put its hands in the Lingayat issue when it was not needed. He added that even as the party as a whole did not use it, some leaders in the party did. These leaders should have been advised properly, he was quoted as saying by Times Now. The leader further said that when he was the consultant on the Lingayat issue, he advised against it.
Ahead of polls, the Congress government in the state wrote a letter to the Centre, urging that Lingayat and Veerashaiva communities be considered as a religious minority. The state government had made the demand after the state cabinet decided to recommend to the Centre that a religious minority status should be given to Lingayats and Veerashaiva Lingayats. The BJP and other political parties saw this as a move by the state government to cut into the vote bank of the saffron party, which enjoys its major share of support from the Lingayat community.
Praising Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Moily said that he engaged in “positive campaign” against the “negative campaign” carried out by PM Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah in the run-up to the May 12 polls. “The result is quite disappointing. Had it been on a development ground or a social justice ground, the Congress should have had won. I think somewhere there was something wrong with caste management in Karnataka. That plays an important role,” Moily was quoted as saying by PTI earlier.
“They (Modi and Shah) never raised development issues. But at the same time, we should acknowledge somewhere we have not managed the caste equations very well,” he added as per the agency.