Lingayat seer to contest against Union minister Joshi : The Tribune India

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Lingayat seer to contest against Union minister Joshi

Lingayat seer to contest against Union minister Joshi

Dingaleshwar Swami at a press conference. Tribune photo



Tribune News Service

Aksheev Thakur

New Delhi, April 8

Days after speaking against Union minister Pralhad Joshi, Gadag’s Lingayat seer Dingaleshwar Swami today declared that he would contest as an Independent candidate from the Dharwad Lok Sabha seat in Karnataka. Defeating Joshi was his main aim, he said.

Pained by his candidature

I am not speaking for myself, but on behalf of the people who are deeply pained by Pralhad Joshi's candidature. In oppressing other community leaders, he (Joshi) is a hero, but in terms of development works, he is zero. Dingaleshwar Swami, lingayat seer

“I am not speaking for myself, but on behalf of the people who are deeply pained by Pralhad Joshi’s candidature. Even senior Lingayat leaders like Jagadish Shettar were ill-treated. In oppressing other community leaders, he (Joshi) is a hero, but in terms of development works, he is zero,” Swami said.

Joshi, however, said he did not want to comment on the issue. “The people will vote after analysing the performance of the Modi government over the past 10 years. And whatever Swamiji said about me, I’m considering it as a blessing,” he said.

In March, Veerashaiva-Lingayat seers met the BJP central leadership and demanded that Joshi be shifted from Dharwad to some other parliamentary constituency. They alleged ill-treatment at the hands of the minister.

Swami had said that Joshi had no respect for religious heads. He said Joshi insulted him over the phone three years ago. “I had called him up for some social work. He insulted me. Even his brother spoke rudely,” Swami said.

Dharwad has 5.5 lakh Lingayats, 3.5 lakh Muslims, 2.7 lakh SCs and 2 lakh Kuruba voters.

If Swami contests the election, the Congress is expected to benefit from the dent the seer would inflict to Joshi. While the Congress has fielded Vinod Asooty, who belongs to the Kuruba community, the BJP has fielded Joshi, a Brahmin.

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#Karnataka #Lok Sabha


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