Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah has, however, distanced the government from the special pujas.

Rain rain come today begs Karnataka minister with Rs 20 lakh pujas
news Drought Friday, June 02, 2017 - 10:10

After negotiating with the Centre for releasing drought relief funds, the Karnataka government now has a solution for its impending drought: perform pujas to appease the rain gods.

According to multiple reports, the state government is set to spend Rs 10 lakh each in performing pujas on the Krishna and Cauvery rivers, so as to ensure that the state receives above normal rainfall this monsoon. 

The pujas will be held on Friday and Sunday, reports Deepa Balakrishnan for News 18. Justifying the move, Karnataka's Water Resource Minister MB Patil told the channel that "both rivers are like the two eyes of Karnataka, all 6 crore people of the state are attached to the rivers.” 

The state-run Krishna and Cauvery Irrigation Boards will be funding the expenses of the puja, which the minister says may not be more than a few lakhs rupees. 

"We all want rain, right? And we may not spend ten lakhs, that is just a provision. The cost may be just four or five lakhs. The MD of the Boards, the chief engineers will all be there, they will take care of it," the minister told News18.

Pointing out that the two rivers, being lifelines of the state, qualify to be "Gods" for the state, with MB Patil arguing that even the Ganga river is worshiped. 

However, in all this, Chief Minister Siddarmaiah has been treading cautiously. He told The Times of India: "By doing pooja it will not rain. The government is not doing any special pooja, Patil could be doing it in his personal capacity."

In 2012, the BJP government had also allocated a whopping Rs 17 Crore to be spent in the state's temples for prayers and yagnas. 

However, the Karnataka High Court had then pulled up the state government, and served a notice.

Show us some love and support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.