Yediyurappa downplays comments by Lingayat seer

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Thursday sought to downplay the recent comments by Panchamasali seer, demanding at least three ministerial berths to the community.

“There will be pressure from different communities on the government always. The comments by Vachananda Swami is a natural reaction and there need not be any further discussion on the issue,” Mr. Yediyurappa said.

Vachananda Swami, seer of the Panchamasali sect from Harihar, had on stage demanded that the community be given three ministries and specifically mentioned that Murugesh Nirani from the community be made a minister. He had said that if it was not done, the community would withdraw its support to Mr. Yediyurappa.

The comment had visibly upset the Chief Minister, who was also on the stage. and he threatened to walk out of the programme. “You can give suggestions but cannot threaten me,” he had said. Later, he also said that if people did not want him, he would resign.

However, Mr. Yediyurappa on Thursday brushed aside the episode. “As Chief Minister, I have the responsibility to take along all communities with me. Seers and sanyasis from all communities have only love and trust in me and such comments come only out of that trust. I believe in Basavanna’s saying that those who criticise us are the real well-wishers. I apologise if I hurt anybody’s feelings,” he said in a press statement on Thursday.

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