Bengaluru: The Akhila Bharata Veerashaiva Mahasabha has decided to support BJP candidates throughout Karnataka for the by-elections.

The Veerashaiva Mahasabha will especially strive for the victory of Hunsur candidate from BJP, H Vishwanath, it said. In this regard the Sabha held a meeting with Veerashaiva leaders in Hunsur and directed the Sabha authorities to support Vishwanath against Congress candidate Manjunath.

In addition to this, many Veerashaiva youths joined BJP during the meeting held by BJP MP Pratap Simha. Veerashaiva leaders are said to have lashed out at Congress and JD(S) during the meeting.

The backlash is the result of Congress and JD(S) alliance's step to divide Lingayats from Veerashaivas. During Siddaramaiah's tenure a proposal was recommended to separate Lingayats from Veerashaivas despite opposition from various leaders of the concerned parties.

BJP was against the proposal and had slammed Siddaramaiah and former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy for trying to create a divide between the two communities.

Lingayats form a large part of voter base and are considered important by all the parties.

Thus now Veerashaiva Mahasabha has decided to unite with Lingayats too to support BJP candidates in the by-elections in Karnataka slated for December 5.

The proposal did not materialise as Kumaraswamy government fell with 17 MLAs rebelling against the government and eventually quitting their position as MLAs.

They were disqualified by Congress and JD(S) respectively. The by-elections in 15 constituencies are being held as the seats are lying vacant due to the resignation of the rebel MLAs. Currently, BJP has fielded these disqualified MLAs in 15 constituencies.