Minister hits out at BJP MLA, former Cong legislator for taking part in Panchamasali Lingayat stir

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Bengaluru,Feb 22 (PTI) A state Minister on Monday hit out at a senior BJP MLA and a former Congress legislator for participating in the Panchamasali Lingayat community's ongoing stir here to get OBC-2A status, saying it seemed like an event of the grand old party and a family gathering of the MLA.

Mines and Geology Minister Murugesh Nirani was referring to former Congress legislator Vijayanand Kashappanavar and senior BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal taking part in the stir here on Sunday 'The congregation did not look like it was an agitation by the Panchamasali community, but a Congress and the Vijayanand Kashappanavars family event, he told reporters here.

He was flanked by ministers and BJP MLAs of Veerashaiva Lingayat community from North Karnataka.

The community members are staging a sit-in demonstration here under the aegis of Kudalasangama Panchamasali Lingayat seer Basava Jaya Mrutyunjaya Swami, who started a padayatra from Kudalasangama on January 14 and arrived in the city on Sunday, demanding OBC-2A category reservation.

The seer had even threatened to begin an indefinite fast from March 4 here if the demands were not met during the budget session of the Karnataka assembly.

Nirani urged the seer not to get carried away by 'rabble rousers' and give time to the government to consider the plea.

These things cannot be done in haste. Give the government some time. Till then please wind up your agitation, Nirani said.

However, the seer decided to continue with the stir The Minister asked Yatnal to refrain from making comments against Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and his son and BJP state vice president B Y Vijayendra.

'Yediyurappa built the party from scratch and led it to form the BJP government in Karnataka twice. If you have so much of confidence on yourself, resign from the assembly and contest independently, Nirani said.

He alleged that Yatnal was behaving like the B-team of Congress.

Kashappanavar hit back at Nirani's remarks and said none should indulge in politics on the matter the community had intensified their stir on Sunday, with hundreds from across the state thronging the city to 'lay siege' to the Vidhana Soudha to press for their demand.

However police foiled their attempt and the agitators then converged at Freedom Park to carry on with their stir.PTI GMS APR ADMINISTRATOR GMS APR ADMINISTRATOR