Bengaluru: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah on Tuesday accused the Congress of using the Lingayat card to polarise the voters in the Karnataka Assembly elections.
In an exclusive interview with Zee News Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary, he said, "We are at the receiving end of issues like Lingayat. They did not bring up the issue in last four years, but brought it up only in the last six months. Our strategy has not changed because the people of Karnataka are intelligent enough to see through it. The Congress only brought up the matter because of the Assembly polls."
The Karnataka government had in March 2018 accepted the recommendation to recognise the Lingayat community as a separate religion. The state Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had okayed the religion based on the suggestions of Nagamohan Das committee.
BJP's tallest leader in Karnataka and its chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa belongs to the Lingayat community. They are nearly 16% of the population in Karnataka. At present, the Lingayats come under the other backward caste (OBC) category.
Meanwhile, Shah also exuded confidence that the BJP would be able to comfortably cross the half-way mark and form the government in the southern state.
Talking about 2019, he said that there was no fear of anti-incumbency against the Narendra Modi government and the party would go to the people with the good work that they had done.
Voting in Karnataka will be held on May 12 and the results will be announced on May 15.