Soon after Karnataka's water resource minister and Congress leader DK Shivakumar apologized to the people for trying to create a separate Lingayat religion, his colleague MB Patil has lashed out at him, stating such issues should be 'discussed within four walls of the party'.
Speaking to the media, the former water resource minister in Siddaramaiah's government mentioned that the demands by the party ahead of the Karnataka elections 2018 had not damaged the party in any sort of matter. He said,
"I don't know in what context DK Shivakumar has made this statement. The separate lingayat religion agitation has not damaged the party in any way. If he thinks that way then Hassan, Mandya Chamarajnagara and Kolar comes under the Vokkaligga belt. How many seats have we been able to win in those districts under DK Shivakumar? It's not right on part of him to make such a statement. We must respect all our leaders like Basavana and Kempe Gowda. We must respect all communities. For the Lingayats its a question of individuality. This matter should be discussed within four walls of the party. Why did the party face a setback and because of whom? These are matters that should be discussed in the party. Making such public statements and apologising for no reason is not done."
DK Shivakumar, who was credited by many to be the mastermind behind Congress' and JD(S)' post-poll alliance to form the government earlier this year, had said in a rally on Thursday that his party had tried to create a separate Lingayat religion.
"We've committed a grave mistake during our tenure. Government at any juncture must not politicize religion or interfere in its matters. Many of our ministers opposed it. But the government took a stand considering the situation that existed during that time. There were a lot of political developments happening then. But no government must intervene in matters of religion. Recently concluded events(assembly polls) have reflected the people's sentiments on this matter. If we or our government has commited any mistake please forgive us. No governments should ever interfere in religious matters. Religion should not be politicized. We should protect religion and not destroy it," he added.