Bengaluru, March 31: Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday visited Siddaganga Math, a prominent Lingayat monastery in Tumakuru town of Karnataka. Here he met top saints of the Lingayat community. Gandhi is on a two-day visit to the southern state, where elections are due next year. Gandhi’s visit to the Lingayat Math is being seen as an attempt to woo the community ahead of the assembly elections.
After his visit to Siddaganga Math, Rahul Gandhi said that, we have to live here with love and without hatred. There should be no discrimination on the basis of caste and religion. You teach here and we need that today when hatred is spreading in our country. Rahul Gandhi further said that, I met Dr. Shivakumar Swamiji during my last visit (Shri Siddaganga Math) and even though he is not here today, he has certainly shown the way, educating the youth and helping the poor. .
Sri Siddaganga Math has a history of being considered progressive over the past two centuries because of its venerable and humane culture, which seeks to empower the youth with knowledge and wisdom, regardless of caste and creed. The monastery is also known for its Gurukulas, where the teachings of two of its greatest religious leaders are taught. The first is Sri Sri Uddana Shivayogigalu and the second is Sri Sri Shivakumara Swamiji, who died in January 2019. The Math is now being run under the responsibility of Shri Siddalinga Swamiji.
The Lingayat community, a powerful force in Karnataka, has largely been voting for the BJP. Initially the community was with the Congress, but shifted mainly because of BS Yediyurappa, who expanded the BJP’s footprint in Karnataka. The Congress is making a lot of efforts to bring the community into its fold, but the BJP has good relations with some of the top community leaders who have the ability to strike a balance on both sides. Union Home Minister Amit Shah will also visit the prominent Lingayat Math on Friday.
Ahead of his visit, senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said Gandhi would meet senior leaders and consider strengthening the party for the upcoming elections. Kharge said, “He will meet senior leaders, key organizations and the party executive committee. He will also visit the office of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee. He is scheduled to hold a meeting with leaders from Bengaluru later today. On Friday, Gandhi will visit the KPCC office.” and participate in the executive meeting with Frontal.
Story first published: Thursday, March 31, 2022, 20:33 [IST]