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Yediyurappa holds meeting with Lingayat leaders, Mahesh Tenginkai says community is united with BJP

Hubballi (Karnataka) [India], April 20 (ANI): Highly upset by the exit of two top Lingayat leaders from the Bharatiya Janata Party, former Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa called a meeting of several MLAs belonging to the community to deliberate on the action plan as the state Assembly elections are less than a month from now, sources said.

The meeting comes after two senior leaders Jagadish Shettar and Laxman Savadi left the BJP as they were denied tickets by the party and joined Congress ahead of the elections.

BJP leader Mahesh Tenginkai who replaced Shettar from the Hubli-Dharwad Central constituency said that the party still has the support of Lingayats and that the exit of a few leaders do not make a difference.

“Yediyurappa and CM Basavaraj Bommai are with us, there is no problem if one or two people leave. The whole community is united. We do not do caste politics and all communities have to vote together for the government to be formed,” Tenginkai told ANI.

The BJP has given the maximum number of tickets to the leaders belonging to the Lingayat community. The party is holding a spate of meetings, as part of which a meeting was held in Bengaluru under Yediyurappa’s leadership.

“The entire Lingayat samaj is associated with the BJP. The meeting is a part of politics, so it has to be done,” Tenginkai said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Ayanur Manjunath, a former BJP MLC and a prominent Lingayat face, resigned from the party over the denial of the ticket from the Shivamogga constituency and joined the JD(S).

With this, he became the 10th legislator to quit the saffron party ahead of the Assembly polls in the state. The BJP has fielded Channabasappa, considered close to KS Eshwarappa, from the seat.

Manjunath said that his first preference was the Bharatiya Janata Party followed by Congress and JD(S) for contesting the elections.

Manjunath, a former BJP MLC and a prominent Lingayat face, resigned from the party on Thursday over the denial of the ticket from the Shivamogga constituency and joined the JD(S).

Speaking to ANI, Manjunath said that he joined the party as former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy promised him of giving a chance in the party.

“My options were open. My first preference was BJP, second was anybody. It may be Congress or JD(S). My third preference was Independent if nobody was prepared to announce my name. That was my stand, I declared in public. JD (S) leader HD Kumaraswamy said that he will give me a chance, and he will support my thinking, so I joined the party,” he said.

Today is the last date for filing nominations, and the last day to withdraw nominations is April 24.

Karnataka Assembly polls will be held on May 10 and the counting of votes will take place on May 13. (ANI)

This report is auto-generated from ANI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

Source: The Print

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