TUMKUR: AICC president Sonia Gandhi’s visit to the Siddaganga Mutt on Saturday sought to establish two facts: one, the Congress is keen on leaving no stone unturned given the state goes to the hustings a year later; and two, the Mutts, too, do not wish to confine themselves to any particular leader or political party.
The Congress supremo visited the Mutt to partake in its ‘Guru Vandana’ - the 105th birthday bash of centenarian seer Sri Shivakumara Swamiji. Religious heads recalled their association with Congress leaders and their achievements during their regimes.
Suttur Mutt seer Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra Swamiji was reminiscent of the Mutt’s association with former chief minister late J H Patel and Union External Affairs Minister S M Krishna’s relation with the Siddaganga Mutt. Junior pontiff of the Mutt Sri Siddalinga Swamiji articulated: “Krishna was inspired by the Mutt’s ‘dasoha’ scheme, under which free food was provided to the masses, to launch the ‘Akshara Dasoha’ - a mid-day meal scheme for school children.”
The head pontiff of the Adichunchanagiri Mutt - which has a sizeable Vokkaliga following - Sri Balagangadharanatha Swamiji, too, rained praises on Sonia. “She has nation-building capabilities and will take it from strength-to-strength; I hope she will include in it the essence of spirituality,” he said.
In his address, Sri Shivakuamara Swamiji observed that India must shoulder the responsibility of taking the world on the path of peace and harmony. Later, Sonia feted the three seers seated on the dais. She praised the yeoman service by religious institutions in Karnataka.