Dharwad: When he was a minister in the Siddaramaiah-led state government, Vinay Kulkarni, minister for mines and geology at the time, was the first one to raise the issue of a minority religion status for the Lingayats. He was at the forefront of the 'Lingayat as a separate religion' movement.
But it seems that a defeat in the state assembly elections has taught him a few lessons. In a U-turn on his stance, he stated that now, the whole issue is irrelevant.
Vinay Kulkarni is the JDS-Congress alliance candidate from the Dharwad Lok Sabha constituency and he will face the BJP's Pralhad Joshi.
Speaking to reporters in Dharwad, along with JDS leader Basavaraj Horatti, he stated that the separate religion issue is now irrelevant. "It will not be an issue in the Lok Sabha election," he said.
He also added that the minority community is not upset with the Congress for declining a ticket to Shakir Sanadi from the Dharwad Lok Sabha constituency.
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