With prominent leaders going full throttle on the campaign trail, mutts in Mysore region have turned out to be most preferred destinations for netas in their bid to woo voters.
Leaders cutting across party lines call on religious heads to seek their blessings in the run up to the elections. Partymen are ensuring that the media is present to record their leaders interaction with pontiffs in order to send feelers among dominant communities.
The JSS Mutt at the foot of Chamundi Hills has seen a huge turnout from political workers and leaders since the announcement of the calendar of events by the Election Commission. The last couple of days before the filing of nomination papers saw a race between rival parties calling on seers.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, accused of appeasing Ahinda voters and branded as anti-upper caste by his arch rivals, also called on JSS Mutt seer Shivarathri Deshikendra and held closed door talks for more than 20 minutes.JD(S) leader H D Revanna and others also followed seeking the seer’s blessings.Former minister V Somanna (BJP) followed close on the heels of bringing party candidate A R Krishna Murthy to the mutt.BJP candidate for Mysore Prathap Simha along with other leaders also visited the mutt. They also called on Adi Chunchangiri Swamiji and visited the Uttaradi mutt.
Congress candidate A H Vishwanath spared a day to call on the JSS seer, Ganapathi Ashram seer Sachchidananda Swamiji, Adi Chuncahanagiri mutt, Kaginele mutt, the Bishop of Mysore and Sir Khaji of Mysore Moulana Usam Sharief. He also offered pooja at Talacauvery and garlanded statues of Kuvempu and others before proceeding to file his nomination papers.
Meanwhile, candidates and leaders also visited many other Veerashaiva mutts with an eye on Veerashaiva and Vokkaliga votes.Though the seers do not express their support to any candidate or party in public, partymen claim that their blessings will send feelers to their disciples.
“How can we stop them from visiting the Mutt as they come to seek blessing from the Swamiji?” said an employee at a Mutt.He said many political stalwarts like Chandrashekar, H D Deve Gowda, George Fernandes, L K Advani, A B Vajpayee, Sonia Gandhi, A P J Abdul Kalam, Shankar Dayal Sharma and Pranab Mukerjee had visited the mutt.
However, Congress leader K R Mohan Kumar said there is nothing wrong in seeking the blessings of religious heads before polls.
Writer K S Bhagwan said if candidates visit the mutt with the hidden agenda that it would fetch them votes, it will not work as people are educated.