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Current Affairs

Importance of Lingayats

Date: 26 July 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa is receiving support from seers and leaders belonging to Lingayat community as his exit looks imminent.

 

Background

Various seers belonging to Mutts across the state have rallied behind the CM and warning of dire consequences if he is made to step down forcefully.

 

Details

  • Lingayats are about 17 percent of Karnataka’s population. They are the single-largest community and are mostly concentrated in northern part of the state.

  • They are among the strongest voter base of Yediyurappa and BJP. They can determine the outcome in about 90-100 assembly constituencies across the state.

  • Lingayats are a part of Hindu Shaivites who deify philosopher Basavanna, a reformer. They follow Basavanna’s teachings, including equality in society.

 

Lingayat Mutts in state’s politics

  • Politicians are known to keep close ties with Mutts, cutting across party lines. Before and after elections, there are incidents of visit to the Mutts.

  • Majority of the Mutts in Karnataka belong to Lingayats. It is followed by Vokkaliga and rest belonging to other communities.

  • Lingayat Mutts have a large devotee following and are very influential in state politics. They rally community support for their candidates.

  • Lingayat support is also generated through the All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha, an organization that has support in the state’s 22 districts.

 

Lingayat vote

All parties are trying for the Lingayat votes if a void of leader is created in case Yediyurappa steps away. This may benefit the principal opposition Congress party.