Rahul Gandhi receives "deeksha" at a Lingayat mutt before the elections in Karnataka.

  • Aug. 4, 2022, 12:17 p.m.

CHITRADURGA/DAVANGERE: In a strong bid to win the Lingayat community's votes in his party’s way in next year’s assembly elections, Rahul Gandhi, former AICC president and current Wayanad MP, on Wednesday visited the prominent Sri Jagadguru Murugharajendra Mutt in Chitradurga, about 200 km from Bengaluru. 
During an hour-long interaction, he sought the blessings of Sri Shivamurthy Murugha Swami, pontiff of the mutt. The pontiff gave the former AICC president, "Ishtalinga Deeksha," a symbolic representation of Shivling. 
As part of the initiation, Sri Murugha Swami put a Shiva Linga around Rahul’s neck and three horizontal lines of ‘vibhuti’ (ash) on his forehead, as worn by Lingayats, while saying, "If you worship this, all stress in your life will be relieved." "
Astonished, Rahul asked questions about 'Ishtalinga', and the seer explained its importance and gave him a demo on practice and worship. "I have been following and reading a little bit about Basavanna ji [a 12th century social reformer] for some time now," Rahul told the seer. "So, it’s a great honour for me." I request you to send someone to train me a little more in detail about ‘Ishtalinga’ and the practice of Shiva Yoga. "

A junior seer from Haveri, who was witness to the event, told Rahul that he would soon become prime minister. "Your father and grandmother have been PMs, and you will soon become one as you have now been initiated into the Lingayat sect," the seer said. However, the pontiff quickly intervened, saying it wasn’t the place or time to discuss politics. 
Interestingly, barely an hour before Rahul’s visit, Sri Murugha Swami had hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "We need people like Narendra Modi to protect and save our country from the attack of enemies." "Modi has risen to this level with his hard work," the seer told reporters. 
Gandhi also met the seer of Moorusavura Mutt, another prominent Lingayat Mutt, and about 50 other seers belonging to different backward communities. He was accompanied by Congress chief DK Shivakumar, former chief minister Siddaramaiah and other party functionaries. He was also scheduled to visit Taralabalu Mutt at Sirigere, Chitradurga, but skipped the trip due to a supposed paucity of time. BJP criticism Meanwhile, the BJP lambasted Rahul’s visit, calling him an "election Hindu". "Election Hindu" "Rahul Gandhi is preparing for Karnataka assembly elections in 2023!" the party said in a tweet. 
Sources say Rahul is focusing on breaking the Lingayat community’s allegiance to the BJP in the state and his visits to prominent mutts are part of the plan. Party functionaries say it is also a way to counter PM Modi, who often visits prominent Lingayat mutts during trips to the state.
Ahead of the 2018 assembly elections, the Siddaramaiah government had launched a separate religion campaign to woo the community, but it backfired spectacularly.
Meanwhile, in Davanagere, the Congress presented a public show of unity between former CM Siddaramaiah and Karnataka PCC chief D K Shivakumar, the two aspirants for the CM’s post. On the occasion of the former CM’s 75th birthday, the PCC chief hugged him. Rahul said Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar have done tremendous work for the Congress and the state. "Together they can do wonders. "Congress is completely united now to defeat BJP and RSS in Karnataka," he added. 
Endorsing Gandhi’s views, Siddaramaiah said the talk that there was a rift between him and Shivakumar was an "illusion and creation" of the rivals. "There is no difference of opinion among us."

Author : Rajdhani Delhi Representative

Rajdhani delhi representative

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