Bengaluru: The politics of temples and math is gaining momentum in Karnataka and what more, in wake of an ambition to win the upcoming polls, the rat race of political bigwigs towards these religious centres is taking place every other day.
Merely days after All India Congress Committee President Rahul Gandhi’s visit to temples and Lingayat maths in the state, BJP National President Amit Shah is in Karnataka to make the best of his visit on Monday and Tuesday. It is said that the well planned tour of Shah will target those Lingayat maths too which were skipped by Rahul.
The BJP chief will seek the blessings of Shivakumara Swamy, the 110-year-old who is the head of the Siddanganga math in Tumkur. From here, Shah will be in Shivamogga, the home turf of Lingayat strongman and BJP’s Chief Ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa.
Shivamogga, has become a difficult bite for the BJP to swallow because of two factions-one with BSY and the other against him. The clash is majorly between BSY and OBC leader of the BJP K S Eshwarappa. The two have been at loggerheads for a while and it is now said that KS Eshwarappa’s aspiration for a ticket from Shivamogga and BSY’s reluctance to approve the same is causing more damage.
Shah is expected to meet the two warring factions and strike a deal. Here too, Shah has planned visits to couple of Lingayat maths.
On Tuesday, he will fly to neighbouring Davanagere, yet again a Lingayat stronghold where Yeddyurappa wields considerable clout.
The BJP chief will meet powerful Lingayat seer Dr Shivamurthy Shivacharya of Tharalabalu math at Sirigere seeking his support. On Tuesday evening, Shah will visit Dalit seer Madara Channaiah Swamy at Chitradurga. Swamy is seeking a BJP ticket in the Assembly elections.
The BJP president will then fly to Kuppalli in Shimoga district to pay respects to poet laureate Kuvempu.
State BJP leaders admit that the party’s top leadership is assessing the situation after the Karnataka government’s decision to accord religious minorities tag to the powerful Lingayats who form about 14% of the state’s population.