New Delhi, Mar 28 (PTI) The Union Minority Affairs Ministry has received a proposal from the Karnataka government on recognition of the Lingayat community as a religious minority, the Lok Sabha was informed today.

Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told the Lower House in a written a reply to a question that the ministry received the proposal on Monday.

He, however, said the ministry has so far not received any representation from the state government for granting of separateor independent religion status to the Lingayat community in the state.

The Ministry of Home Affairs had communicated the November 2013 comments of the Registrar General of India (RGI) to the National Commission of Minorities that Veerashaiva Lingayat is a sect of Hindus and not an independent religion and that RGI had not assigned any separate code to Veershaiva Lingayat during 2011-Census, Naqvi said.

It also stated that if the Veerashaiva Lingayat is treated as a separate religion by providing a separate code other than Hindu, all scheduled castes professing the Veerashaiva Lingayat sect will lose their constitutional status.

However, this ministry has recently received a proposal of Karnataka government on 26.03.2018 regarding recognition of Lingayat as a religious minority, Naqvi said.

The Karnataka minorities welfare department on March 22 notified the Lingayats and Veerashaiva Lingayats as religious minority, but said the notification would come into effect after the central government’s approval to the state government’s recommendation on the issue.

In its notification, the state government said it recognises Lingayats and Veerashaiva Lingayats as minorities without affecting the rights and interests of other religious minorities of Karnataka, including reservations.

Karnataka goes to polls on May 12.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.