Seer of Udupi’s Shiroor Mutt said that he will contest from the BJP if given a ticket by the party, else he will stand as an independent candidate.

Seer of a Karnataka mutt jumps into poll fray will he become the BJPs face in Udupi
news Karnataka 2018 Tuesday, April 03, 2018 - 16:54

Lakshmivara Theertha Swamiji of Shiroor Mutt in Udupi, on Tuesday, announced that he will be kickstarting his election campaign from April 8, starting with Udupi’s Malpe.

He is the seer of one of the Ashta Peetha’s – the eight mutts of Udupi district. A popular face in the region, in March this year, he had expressed his interest in contesting for the Assembly polls, either as an independent candidate or from the Bharatiya Janata Party. He had said that BJP state President BS Yeddyurappa and Udupi-Chikkamagaluru MP Shobha Karandlaje had approached him and asked him to join the saffron party.

With his entry into the fray, the BJP hopes to break the Brahmin and the Mogaveera votes which are consolidated by Congress' candidate Pramod Madhwaraj.

Speaking to the media in Udupi, the seer said that he would first visit the Mogaveera community (the fisherman community in Udupi) to “listen to their problems”.

“I will start my election campaign on April 8 at 4 pm by first offering prayers to the Vadabhandeshwara Temple. Then, I will visit the nearby areas, and talk to the Mogaveera community and listen to their problems. For the next one month, I will primarily campaign in the Udupi Assembly constituency. I will go around Udupi and listen to people’s problems. If I become an MLA, my main focus will be to solve these problem that they would have aired,” he said.

The seer also said that throughout his election campaign, he would not criticize his political opponents or the government, but look for ways to resolve people’s issues.

“This is going to be my election strategy,” he added.

The seer also said that the local youth and college students had offered their support to help him campaign. “I am not spending huge amounts of money. College students and the youth have reassured that they will help me campaign this time.”

When asked if he would be contesting on a BJP ticket, he said that he had not received confirmation from the saffron party yet.

“I have not received any information from them yet. If they offer me a ticket, I would be happy to contest from the BJP. If they do not offer me a ticket, I will contest as an independent candidate,” Lakshmivara Theertha Swamiji said.

He will be taking on the current Congress MLA Pramod Madhwaraj, whom the seer considers his “disciple”.

“I love Pramod as an individual, not as a Congressman. I’m a BJP sympathiser ... I’m disenchanted with the Udupi BJP. That’s why I need to contest from BJP and change issues right here for the betterment of the people,” he had said in March.

Sources in BJP say that the high command will go through the internal surveys results on the seer and then decide whether the party would offer him a ticket or not.



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