The Karnataka minorities welfare department has notified the Lingayats and Veerashaiva Lingayats as religious minority, but said it would come into effect after the central government's approval to the state government's recommendation on the issue. In its notification, the Department of Minorities, Haj and Wakf, stated that it recognises Lingayats and Veerashaiva Lingayats as minorities without affecting the rights and interests of other religious minorities of Karnataka, including reservations. The March 22 notification is seen as an attempt to put pressure on the Centre to approve the Karnataka cabinet's contentious decision of according religious minority tag to Lingayats and Veerashaiva Lingayats. In a move with major ramifications ahead of the coming Assembly elections, the Karnataka cabinet on Monday decided to recommend to the Centre, grant of religious minority tag to Lingayat and Veerashaiva Lingayat community, who follow the philosophy of 12th century social reformer Basaveshwara. It was seen as an attempt to woo the dominant community in Karnataka. BJP strongman B S Yeddyurappa too comes from the Lingayat Community. The Lingayat community owes allegiance to the "social reform movement" initiated by 12th Century social reformer Basaveshwara, who had launched a movement against the orthodoxy prevailing in the society in his era. Yeddyurappa has called the government's move an "election gimmick".