Cong toeing BJP line on rituals, ridicules Shettar

Cong toeing BJP line on rituals, ridicules Shettar
Members of the ruling Congress and the principal Opposition party BJP sparred in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday over the controversial Parjanya “Homa” performed by Water Resources Minister M B Patil recently to invoke the blessings of rain God.

Patil hit back at leader of the Opposition Jagadish Shettar, who had accused the government of promoting blind beliefs by performing the homa. Patil produced a circular issued in July 2012 when Shettar was the chief minister, which directed all muzrai department temples to perform Prajanya Homa and japa. The minister showed another circular dated July 11, 2001 that directed all muzrai temples to perform Prajanya pooje. “The 2012 circular has exposed the hypocrisy of Shettar. Prajanya Homa was performed in 2012 spending about Rs 17 crore, despite opposition from certain quarters. This shows his (Shettar) statements are politically motivated. His views have hurt the sentiments of the people,” Patil charged, claiming that he had performed only a pooja and not the homa.

Shettar responded sarcastically that Patil seems to be toeing “our” (BJP) line in following Hindu culture and tradition. “We congratulate you for showing respect to Hindu tradition and performing the homa…But my question is, why should the government resort to pooja and homa while claiming that it doesn’t believe in such practices? The government is promoting blind beliefs by performing homa,” he charged.

Congress members, including Patil, took exception to Shettar’s remarks and dubbed the BJP members hypocrites. BJP leader Basavaraj Bommai asked Patil not to feel guilty for having performed the homa, while his party colleague Govind Karjol said people who worship deities cannot be considered Lingayats, quoting Basavanna (12th century social reformer). Health Minister Ramesh Kumar intervened and said that the government must be run according to the Constitution of India and not personal beliefs.

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