Mysuru: Today is Karthika Shukravara, an auspicious day in the ongoing holy month of Karthika. And it is a perfect day to have the darshan of Gods and Goddesses. That’s why there were a host of political bigwigs at the Chamundeshwari Temple atop the Chamundi Hill in city this morning.
Netas including former Minister D.K. Shivakumar (DKS), former PM H.D. Deve Gowda, JD(S) MLA G.T. Devegowda, disqualified MLAs Ramesh Jarakiholi and Mahesh Kumthahalli prostrated before the Goddess and sought divine intervention to either save them from court or Police cases or make their way smooth to occupy the seats of power.
Interestingly, the temple premises that is usually occupied by devotees turned into a political Jathra with leaders lining up to pray before the Goddess and their supporters crowding every nook and corner of the Temple, inconveniencing devotees who were not let inside till the leaders left.
The first visit to the Temple was by Gokak MLA Ramesh Jarakiholi and Athani MLA Mahesh Kumthahalli who have been disqualified under Anti-Defection Law and the case is at present being heard by Supreme Court after a lot of twists and turns. Both of them visited the Temple at 8.30 am.
Convoy of 25 cars
Next came beleaguered Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar who is being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate on charges of money-laundering. Accompanied by supporters who travelled in packed 20 to 25 cars and SUVs, Shivakumar, sporting a beard, travelled in style with fans chanting “DK” slogans and reached the Temple complex at 9 am.
It was Shivakumar’s thanksgiving visit of sorts to temples in Mysuru and surroundings. Yesterday he visited the Srikanteshwara Temple in Nanjangud and today, his convoy landed atop Chamundi Hill. Notably, Shivakumar is visiting all famous temples in an area that is traditionally Opposition leader Siddharamaiah’s turf.
Temple run in Siddharamaiah’s turf
Though sources close to Shivakumar explained that his temple run in Siddharamaiah’s fortress is nothing significant as Shivakumar’s wife Usha hails from Mysuru. Family members too wanted him to visit these temples after his release from prison, sources added. However, sensing that his visit to temples in Mysuru region will set tongues wagging, Shivakumar later told reporters that he does not have any differences with Siddharamaiah.
Political analysts say that Shivakumar had chosen Mysuru (Siddharamaiah’s home town) for his temple visits in his attempt to give a “religious touch” to take on Siddharamaiah who always flaunts his agnosticism.
Offerings of 101 coconuts
Shivakumar was accompanied by Chamundeshwari JD(S) MLA G.T. Devegowda. Shivakumar performed special pujas to the Goddess and was presented a silk shawl by Temple Chief Priest Dr. Shashishekar Dikshit. The priest also tied a ‘Rakshe’ to Shivakumar’s wrist.
The Congress leader then came out of the Temple complex and broke 101 coconuts (Eedugai) and said he prayed for lakhs of his fans who stood by him in the hour of crisis and also prayed for the welfare of the people.
“Let the Goddess fulfil all the vows of people. I have prayed the Goddess to help me come out of the cases. Justice will ultimately prevail,” he said with a smile.
Shivakumar was, however, evasive and cryptic in all his replies, especially when reporters asked him about his next move and what the secret behind his beard was.
G.T. Devegowda and H.D. Deve Gowda
“Shivakumar is an ardent devotee of Chamundeshwari and in the past, he had presented a silver elephant to the Goddess. Even I am her devotee and this Temple falls in my constituency,” said MLA G.T. Devegowda who was present with Shivakumar all along the Temple.
As Shivakumar completed breaking 101 coconuts, former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda and his wife Chennamma came to the Temple. Shivakumar called him ‘Dodda Gowdru’ and fell at his feet to seek his blessings. Deve Gowda was also courteous and exchanged pleasantries.
Incidentally, G.T. Devegowda had left the place just as the former PM arrived. Party workers were seen commenting that G.T. Devegowda left the place as his relationship with the First Family of JD(S) had turned sour.
Inside Tihar Jail
After visiting Srikanteshwara Temple in Nanjangud yesterday, Shivakumar told the media that even in Tihar Jail, he would visit a small Shiva Temple inside the prison.
The Congress leader also visited Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji’s Ashram on Nanjangud Road. In the evening, he visited Suttur Shivarathreeshwara Temple in the Suttur Mutt premises. This morning he visited Adichunchanagiri Mutt at Bogadi and sought the blessings of Somanatha Swamiji.
Shivakumar also offered floral tributes to the portrait of previous pontiff late Balagangadharanatha Swamiji. At the Adichunchanagiri Mutt, Shivakumar was greeted by former Minister S.R. Mahesh.
Today Shivakumar is again scheduled to visit temples in Mandya and other adjoining places and return to Bengaluru late in the evening.