Tough fight for BJP in Lingayat stronghold, Veerashaiva Forum extends support to Congress

Bangalore. Political parties are campaigning in full swing for the Karnataka assembly elections and all the parties are trying to win over the voters of the state as well as the Lingayat community there. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi's mega road-show gets underway in Bengaluru on Sunday, Karnataka's Veerashaiva Lingayat Forum released an official letter pledging its support to the Congress in the May 10 Karnataka Assembly elections. The Forum has urged the people of the Lingayat community to vote for the Congress.
On May 5, Congress leaders Shamanur Shivashankarappa and Jagadish Shettar had also met Lingayat saints in Hubli, Karnataka. The influential Lingayat or Veerashaiva-Lingayat community assumes significance as it plays a major role in deciding the outcome of the Karnataka elections and that is why every party is making efforts to woo it. Lingayats are said to constitute about 17 per cent of Karnataka's population and dominate 100 of the total 224 constituencies. Most of these seats are from the North Karnataka region.