Will Karnataka get its own Yogi in the new Assembly?

Bengaluru: Will the 2018 state poll see a saffron-clad seer enter the Legislative Assembly? If  it does, it would be a first as the Karnataka assembly has never seen a religious head being elected to it.

While the Congress and the Janata Dal (S) don't seem keen on fielding  any swami in these polls, the BJP is reportedly considering fielding a few. Basavananda Swami, a pontiff from north Karnataka, who is reportedly a big fan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is  lobbying hard to get the BJP ticket for Kalaghatagi constituency in Dharwad district, which is currently represented by Labour Minister, Santhosh Lad.

Another seer, Rajashekharananda Swamiji of Vajradehi Mutt in Gurupur, Mangaluru,  who is close to right wing Hindu organizations, is also lobbying hard for a BJP ticket. “He is willing to contest either from Ullala or Bantwala constituency. But the party may not field him as if he loses, it could indicate that Hindus are weak and not united,” said BJP leaders.

Meanwhile, it’s claimed that Udupi Shiroor Mutt pontiff, Lakshmivara Teertha Swami, who had announced a couple of weeks ago that he intended to enter the poll fray, is being influenced by sitting MLA and Mnister, Pramod Madhwaraj, who is allegedly trying hard to divide the Brahmin vote, and sail through the elections with the help of other communities. 

In any case, both  the BJP and Sangh Parivar are reportedly not keen on the seer as he has various interests such as car racing and might not receive the support of the Brahmins in Udupi. 

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