Seer cries foul over Rahul not visiting Ingaleshwar

Seer cries foul over Rahul not visiting Ingaleshwar

Congress president Rahul Gandhi did not visit Ingaleshwar, the birthplace of 12th-century social reformer Basaveshwara, because of local leaders in Karnataka, the head of the Virakta Mutt, Siddalinga Swami, claimed here on Tuesday.

He also alleged that politics was being practised in the name of religion and that Rahul Gandhi's visit to Ingaleshwar in Vijayapura district was cancelled at the last minute.

"Rahul Gandhi's visit to Ingaleshwar was planned and even a roadmap was taken from us. However, his route was changed at the last minute by local Congress leaders," the Swami said, in an apparent reference to the Resources Minister M B Patil, who is from Vijayapura district.

"The Gandhi family, including former prime minister Indira Gandhi, had close links with the institution. But now we feel local leaders are deliberately keeping Rahul Gandhi from visiting such places," he said.

The seer was in the capital to invite the prime minister for the unveiling of the 'Basaveshwara Vachana Silashasana Mantapa' next month.

On the Lingayat row in the state, Swami said, "Lingayat and Veerashaivas (communities) are one and the same."