Bengaluru: In what can be called as one of most embarassing momenst for BJP, an advertisement released by the Jagatika Lingayat Mahasabha and its youth wing Rashtriya Basava Sena just 48 hours before the Karnataka Assembly election, has urged community members to vote for Congress and reject BJP.
The Mahasabha, the most influential Lingayat outfit, released the advertisement titled 'Lingayat hithakagi kaydiruvara ge namma matha' (Those who protect the interests of Lingayats, we will vote for them) in eight newspapers. The advertisement states that BJP and RSS are the real rift creators within the community. It blames them for dividing the Lingayats and funding the sub-sect of Veerashaiva community to create the rift within the community.
An office-bearer of the Mahasabha says that the reason for the release of the advertisement at the crucial point was to give voters the real picture and counter the propaganda.
The Lingayat community forms about 17 percent of Karnataka's population of 6.5 crore and has a stronghold in 90 seats in the northern districts.
While there is speculation that there is an involvement of two Congress leaders behind the advertisement to influence the voters at the last minute, BJP workers feel that the advertisement could become a major drawback. Meanwhile, the Basava Peetha pontiff Mata Mahadevi has issued a video on social media asking the Lingayats to openly vote for the Congress party. He has also stated that 30 per cent of Lingayats are sure to vote for Congress.