Congress will consider backing Dingaleshwar Swami who vowed to take on Pralhad Joshi, says DK Shivakumar

Shivakumar said that the party has already announced its candidate for the Dharwad seat and that he will speak to CM Siddaramaiah.

ByPTI

Published Apr 10, 2024 | 5:13 PMUpdatedApr 10, 2024 | 5:13 PM

Congress

Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar on Wednesday, 10 April, did not rule out the possibility of the party backing a prominent seer who announced that he would take on Union Minister Pralhad Joshi from Dharwad in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

The state deputy chief minister said they are weighing options when asked about it.

Targeting Joshi, a Brahmin, Fakira Dingaleshwar Swami of Shirahatti Fakkireshwar Math had accused him of “suppressing” Veerashaiva-Lingayat and other communities, and also misusing and causing disrepute to the Lingayat “maths” to stay in power.

The Veerashaiva-Lingayat seer, who had announced his decision to contest as an independent on Monday, had also accused Congress of neglecting Lingayats after coming to power, and not giving suitable positions to leaders of calibre from the community.

Also Read: Lingayat seer Dingaleshwara Swami announces candidature from Dharwad

‘CM will decide’

Shivakumar said that the party has already announced its candidate — Vinod Asooti — for the Dharwad seat and that he will speak to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

“Nothing indirect, if we want (to support the pontiff) we will do it directly, it’s a different matter. We have finalised our party candidate. If he (seer) had asked earlier, it would have been a different matter, now there is a proposal. We have given the ticket to Vinod (Vinod Asooti) of the Youth Congress and he is working,” Shivakumar said, in response to a question of Congress giving indirect support to the seer.

Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, he said, “There is a request…we have respect for the seer, as he has been working in the secular framework. Our candidate is a gentleman. Chief Minister and I will discuss it by today or tomorrow.”

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