news Monday, May 18, 2015 - 05:30

Towards the end, Peter Parker / Spider-Man recalls his uncle telling him that “With great power, comes great responsibility”. Its adaptation to Karnataka’s politics would go: With great power, come great superstitious beliefs; very few of the state politicians are immune to superstitious beliefs. Latest to (reportedly) join the big league of influential politicians who are (reportedly) firm targets of all kinds of black magic is Kolar MLA Varthur Prakash. A few days ago, Kannada daily Prajavani reported that remnants of a goat’s head, 20 coconuts, neem leaves, flowers, were found at the base of a tamarind tree outside the residence of Prakash’s house. Confirming that these objects were found outside his house, Prakash was quick to say that he was not a "believer". With the gram panchayat elections just around the corner, Kolar councillor Somashekar has alleged that former councillor of JD (S) K Srinivasgowda, party supremo H D Deve Gowda and his son H D Kumaraswamy were behind the incident. They may all be bitter rivals politically, but fear of dark magic apparently turns them into frenemies. Right from the days of Devraj Urs, rumours of occult practices have dotted the political landscape of the state. The entire H D Deve Gowda clan comprising his sons Revanna and Kumaraswamy, have been repeatedly accused of casting bad spells on their opponents. Deve Gowda’s other son Revanna reportedly has the reputation of being the most superstitious politician in the state. The JD (S) leader apparently even refuses to speak during rahukala or carry out any duty, conduct meetings such hours that he considers it to be inauspicious. While Revanna may have the reputation of being the most superstitious, even he would be hard put to match BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa’s extremely colourful tryst with black magic and superstition. Even if half the stories are to be believed, it is the stuff of legend. Way back in 2007 when Yeddy had first tasted power as the chief minister, it was alleged that someone had performed black magic at the Shikaripur helipad in Shivamogga district, where he was expected to land. He accused the Gowda family of “trying to finish him off” after refusing to cooperate with his government in November and even said that he would write a will stating this, just in case something happened to him, On October 11, 2010, the political situation in Karnataka had worsened and Yeddyurappa was facing a floor test in the House to win the confidence of its members. That morning, “chopped chicken heads and vermillion smeared pooja articles were found strewn near the Vidhana Soudha” which spread rumours of witchcraft, Hindustan Times had reported. Four months later, the chief minister again claimed that there was a threat to this life and accused his opponents of practising voodoo against him. Fast forward to 2014, when after a prolonged legal battle which went all the way to the Supreme Court, the JD (S) was ordered to vacate a building in Bengaluru which it had illegally occupied for decades. The Court ruled that the building which the JD (S) had listed as its state headquarters for years, actually belonged to the Congress. When Congress party workers entered the premises after the JD (S) cleared out, they found bangles and lemons strewn all over the building. Additionally, little bottles wrapped in red cloth were also found on the premises. The party workers had accused JD (S) of trying to cast a bad spell on the Congress party. The only exception to this rule may be Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, an atheist. No chief minister of the state has visited Chamarajnagar district since the 1980s as it was reputed to be ‘back luck’ and would make the chief minister lose his position. Siddaramaiah broke this tradition in October 2013, so to speak, by being the first chief minister to visit the district since in over two decades.  

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