Rahul Gandhi to skip tour of Udupi

Udupi: Congress president, Rahul Gandhi, whose soft Hindutva took him to several temples and mutts during the Gujarat election and the first two stages of his Karnataka campaign, is likely to skip a visit to Udupi city during his tour of the coastal districts later this month.

Congress leaders are reportedly not keen on him visiting the Udupi Krishna Mutt as the Pejawar Mutt seer,  Sri Viswesha Teertha Swami is said to be close to the RSS and VHP. Also, visiting the mutt is not seen as politically important as the seers of Udupi are allegedly not as influential in  the community like religious leaders of other parts of Karnataka.

"Hindu religious heads and institutions of the coastal belt do not control the community like in other regions of the state. So a temple run here is not of much importance to the Congress," said a party insider.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who always accompanies Mr Gandhi on his tours of the state, has himself stayed away from the Udupi Krishna Mutt due to his reported  differences with it.

While Mr Gandhi is expected to skip the Krishna Mutt,  he is scheduled to visit the Sringeri Temple. Landing at the Mangaluru airport on March 20 , he is scheduled to go to Yermal and Padubidri in the Kaup assembly constituency of Udupi and then attend an event in Mangaluru. 

But he is unlikely to visit the fishermen community either although it plays a crucial role in elections on the coast.

“BJP national president, Amit Shah  held a meeting with the fishermen  and  Rahul Gandhi too should have met them in Udupi, but  none of the important Congress leaders are keen on him doing so,” said a party leader. 

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