SHIVAMOGGA: The Dharmasthala Manjunatha Swamy Temple in Dakshina Kannada district would witness a 'truth test' this month.
Sagar BJP MLA and former minister Haratalu Halappa and former MLA and KPCC spokesperson Beluru Gopalakrishna are girding their loins to testify before the deity, most likely, on February 12.
In 2011, former CMs B S Yediyurappa and H D Kumaraswamy challenged each other to prove their honesty by testifying before the deity. At that time, the 'truth test' did not take place as Yediyurappa was asked not to do so by the high command.
Meanwhile, Gopalakrishna, addressing a press meet at Hosanagara recently, alleged that Halappa was taking a commission from sand lorry owners in Sagar and Hosanagara taluks and threatened them that he would not allow them to extract sand illegally if the commission is not paid.
"If Halappa is honest, let him come before the deity and swear before the god that he has not accepted the commission from the lorry owners. Halappa is making lorry owners give statements against me. Instead of that, let Halappa himself testify before the deity. I will also testify that Halappa took the commission," Gopalakrishna said.
Not to take the confrontation lying down, Halappa on Wednesday asked his rival to fix the date.
"I'm ready to swear before the deity that neither I nor my relatives accepted any commission from the sand lorry owners. I have also not accepted money from the police. Let Gopalakrishna also prove that he had not accepted a commission from sand lorry owners and the police," he said.
Halappa himself fixed the date saying that he is ready to testify before the deity on February 13. However, Halappa issued a statement on Friday making a slight change on the date. He said he will testify before the deity on February 12 as there is a family function on February 13.
Gopalakrishna told The New Indian Express that he was ready to testify before the deity on February 13.
He however added: "I was told that the MLA changed the date now. I will issue a statement soon."