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Favour forgotten: BJP skips Lingayat celebration

April 27, 2012 17:49 IST

Bharatiya Janata Party may have come to power in Karnataka riding high on the support of the Lingayat community, but when it came to taking part in the birthday celebrations of the religious head of the sect, the party seems to have preferred to look away.

One of the reasons why the BJP will give the 105th birthday celebrations of Sri Sri Shivakumara Swami -- the head of the Siddaganga Mutt in Tumkur -- could be the presence of Congress president Sonia Gandhi at the event.

B S Yeddyurappa, who has till date found a solution to all his woes in the Siddaganga Mutt, has made it clear that he would stay away from the celebrations. However, he did not make it obvious that he is staying away because of Sonia's presence.

I have some prior engagements, Yeddyurappa said.

In fact, Yeddyurappa and his men had two weeks back expressed unhappiness over the huge Congress presence at the mutt, but they were told that it was too late to cancel as they had already committed to the Congress supremo taking part in the function.

Chief Minister D Sadananda Gowda too has not confirmed his participation in the event.

Sonia Gandhi will arrive in Karnataka on Friday night at 9 pm and take part in the programme on Saturday at Tumkur. She is also expected to visit a drought-hit village and interact with the residents over there. 

An embarrassed BJP has been portraying Sonia's visit as a stunt to garner the support of the Lingayats, who are a deciding factor in every election in the state.

Vicky Nanjappa