Mangaluru: Barely a week after Chief Minister Siddharamaiah triggered a debate in social media as he entered the Srikshetra Dharmasthala after having a fish meal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi came in for praises yesterday as he entered the same temple fasting. The PM broke his fast only after he had a darshan of Sri Manjunatheshwara.
The CM entered the temple in Dakshina Kannada District, on Oct. 22 (Sunday) after enjoying a meal of fish fry and country chicken along with his Ministers D.K. Shivakumar and B. Ramanath Rai at the Inspection Bungalow at Bantwal. Photos of him having a non-vegetarian meal went viral and there were widespread criticism for his move.
Responding to the controversy, Siddharamaiah justified having a fish meal and visiting the temple. “No God has ordained that one should not come for his darshan after eating non-vegetarian food and that one should wear a specific outfit while visiting temples. History has it that Bedara Kannappa offered deer meat to Lord Shiva,” he had said.
Though the issue died down after one or two days, it got wings yesterday as reports of Modi fasting before having the darshan of the Lord went viral. Comparisons were drawn between Modi and Siddharamaiah on social media with people calling Modi, with his charisma, a true people’s leader than Siddharamaiah.
Quick to grab the opportunity to take a jibe at Siddharamaiah, MLA and former BJP Minister Aravinda Limbavali said in Bengaluru that Modi is the true leader for he refused to eat a single morsel until he offered prayers at the temple.
Temple clarifies: To put an end to the controversy over the fish eating row, an authority of the Dharmasthala temple told news channels that they have no restriction as such in the temple and they cannot impose food habits on people.
But the BJP leaders seem to be not letting this issue to pass as the Assembly elections are nearing and Modi’s visit to the temple has given the party enough ammunition to corner Siddharamaiah. More so, as Dharmasthala is a significant pilgrimage centre in the State, the BJP leaders are now trying to cash in on the issue.