BENGALURU: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who takes pride in showing an aversion for religious rituals, on Tuesday performed a special puja for Lord Venkateshwara at Tirumala Hills at Tirupati.
The chief minister’s visit to Tirupati comes in the wake of a raging political controversy over the Arkavathy Layout land denotification issue that may cost him his job, and growing dissidence against him within the party.
Siddaramaiah arrived at Tirupati on Monday evening with his family members and close confidant and Cooperation Minister H S Mahadeva Prasad.
He performed a special puja early in the morning on Tuesday.
‘No Special Reason for the Visit’
Speaking to reporters outside the temple, Siddaramaiah tried to downplay the significance of his puja by stating that he has been visiting the temple around the beginning of every new year coinciding with his wedding anniversary.
He admitted that he has not had darshan of Lord Venkateshwara after becoming chief minister.
He said there was no special reason or occasion for his visit. “I prayed for the welfare of the people of the country and the state,” he said.
His Tirupati visit, however, is being seen as part of the religious rituals his family members want to perform to protect his health and ward off evil forces. It may be recalled that recently there was a fire in his helicopter just before he was to fly to Mysuru.
After this incident, Siddaramaiah and his family members had performed an elaborate puja at the temple of his family deity at his native village Siddaramanahundi.