Zee Media Bureau
Bangalore: As the Assembly Elections in Karnataka approach, it is fast becoming clear that the crucial Lingayat vote is likely to be split across all parties rather than favour just one.
The same can be gauged from the signals emanating from the Siddaganga Mutt in Tumkur.
While in the past former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa was able to garner a major chunk of the Lingayat vote share, he is now unlikely to achieve the same after splitting with the BJP and floating his own Karnataka Janata Party.
The mutt, too, appears to be neutral this time around. This time around, not just Yeddyurappa but also leaders from other major political parties like the Congress, JD(S) and BJP have been visiting the mutt to pay respects.
The mutt is home to the seniormost pontiff of the Lingayat community, Shivakumara Swamy (107). It is from here that Yeddyurappa had started his 2008 poll campaign and went on to become the chief minister – in the process helping the BJP install its first government in the South.
A leading English daily from down South reports that the blessings of the swamy, known as Nadedaaduva Devaru (the walking god), are considered as good as victory for a politician.
A major chunk of Karnataka’s Lingayat community votes for the candidate/party on which the swamy showers his blessings.