A massive semi-final meet of Lingayat urging independent status indulged in severe criticism in very strong words against Virakta Veerashiaiva mutt seers and Lingayats not supporting the agitation. A warning was sent out to support the Lingayats before the final decisive meet organised in Bengaluru next. An unilateral resolution was also passed to pressurise President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to accord separate religion status to Lingayats, reports Kannada Prabha.

Huge crowd gathered at the Nehru Ground arriving from all over North Karnataka. Seers from over 50 mutts, political leaders from Chitradurga, Gadag, Belagavi, Kudala Sangama assembled to show their strength. The seers addressing the rally said Veerashaiva is one of the 99 sub-sects of Linagayat. They cautioned that a final massive rally will be organised in Bengaluru by Dec end or January 2018 and if they do not support the Lingayat rally, a separate Akhila Bharatha Lingayat Mahasabha would be launched.

The Moorusavira Mutt, Mundaragi Annadaneshwara mutt in Hubballi and several other mutt heads have forgotten that they were established under the Basava doctrine practicing Veerashaiva tradition and are opposing the Lingayat agitation. They must participate in the Lingayat agitation and follow the Basava doctrine, failing which a campaign to evict them from their Peetha would be taken up, they were warned.

Minister Vinay Kulakarni condemned Opposition leader Jagadish Shettar for his absence. He criticised that Shettar had even become chief minister using the Lingayat tag and now is trying to curtail the agitation and warned that people would teach him a lesson in the coming election. He also condemned KLE executive president Prabhakara Kore for not supporting the Lingayat agitation. KLE is the short form of Karnataka Lingayat Education Society. Being a Lingayat and serving a Lingayat organisation, he cannot go against the agitation. If not supporting he should vacate his position and then go with Veerashaivas, minister Kulkarni said. "Saptharshis have built the institution, along with MB Patil’s grandfather. If he does not support, the institution will be taken away," he warned.

MB Patil also mentioned that the Basaveshwara Vidyavardhaka Sangha, Bagalkot, established by Beeluru Appa in the name of Basavanna has been changed to Basaveshwara Veerashaiva. This should be changed to Lingayat failing which they will be thrown out, he said.

Patil announced that three more conventions will be held, on Nov 11 at Koppal, Dec 3 at Sangli and Dec 10 at Vijayapura before the final international meet at Bengaluru by Dec end or Jan 2018 first week.

Dr Siddalinga Mahaswamy, Gadag Tontadarya mutt, Muragha Sharana, Chitradurga mutt, Panchamasali Jayabasava Mruthyunjaya Swamy, Koodala Sangama, Nijagunananda Swamy, Siddarama Swamy and Mathe Mahadevi also addressed the gathering and condemned the stand taken by the Veerashaiva Mahasabha. They urged Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to recommend to the Centre to accord constitutional rights to separate Lingayat religion from Hindu religion.