Ahead of Karnataka polls, Rahul gets ‘deeksha’ at Lingayat mutt | India News – Times of India

CHITRADURGA/ DAVANGERE: In a bid to swing votes of the Lingayat community for Congress in Karnataka assembly elections, Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday visited the prominent Sri Jagadguru Murugharajendra Mutt in Chitradurga where the pontiff of the mutt gave him ‘Ishtalinga Deeksha’, a symbolic representation of Shivling.
As part of the initiation, the pontiff, Sri Shivamurthy Murugha Swami, put a Shivling around Rahul’s neck and three horizontal lines of ‘vibhuti’ (ash) on his forehead as worn by Lingayats, while saying, “If you worship this, all stress in your life will be relieved.”
Rahul asked questions about ‘Ishtalinga’ and the seer explained its importance and gave him a demo on the practice and worship. “I have been following and reading a little bit about Basavanna ji (12th century social reformer) for some time now,” Rahul told the pontiff. “So, it’s a great honour for me,” he added.
A junior seer from Haveri, who was witness to the event, told Rahul that he would soon become PM. However, the pontiff quickly intervened saying it wasn’t the place or time to discuss politics.
Meanwhile, in Davanagere, Congress presented a public show of unity between former CM Siddaramaiah and Karnataka PCC chief D K Shivakumar, the two aspirants for CM’s post. On the occasion of the former CM’s 75th birthday, the PCC chief hugged him. Rahul said Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar have done tremendous work for Congress and the state. “Together they can do wonders. Congress is completely united now to defeat BJP and RSS in Karnataka,” he added.
Endorsing Gandhi’s views, Siddaramaiah said the talk that there is a rift between him and Shivakumar is an “illusion and creation” of the rivals. “There is no difference of opinion among us.”

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