India, May 16 -- Former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa on Tuesday said it would be a crime if even one vote from the Lingayat community went to the Congress.

"I plead with the members of the Veerashaiva (Lingayat) community in this region. if even one vote from the community goes to the Congress, which humiliated [former chief minister] Veerendra Patil. who won 178 seats, it will be a big crime," Yeddyurappa said at an election rally ahead of the by-elections to Chincholi and Kundgol assembly seats on May 19.

He was referring to the removal of Patil, as chief minister in 1990 a year after the Congress's landslide victory in the Karnataka assembly polls.

The Veerashaiva-Lingayat community accounts for around 16% of Karnataka's...