Now, CM in a fix over truth test

Religious heads advise BSY to drop Dharmasthala challenge
Last Updated : 21 June 2011, 19:30 IST

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Barely three days after B S Yeddyurappa challenged his predecessor and bete noire H D Kumaraswamy to swear their rectitude at Manjunatha temple in Dharmasthala, the chief minister appears to be in two minds.

The alacrity with which Yeddyurappa challenged Kumaraswamy for the June 27 truth test at the popular shrine in can no longer be sensed. Yeddyurappa, on Tuesday, came under pressure from a section of religious heads who advised him to drop the Dharmasthala challenge. The chief minister said he had taken note of their advice.

The morality of testifying before the Almighty and the implication of treading on an issue sensitive to the people seem to be slowly sinking in. Yeddyurappa, it is learnt, has mellowed, but is yet to take final decision on following through with the challenge.

At a function in Kanakapura, Suttur math seer Shivarathri Deshikendrai and Chitradurga Murughamath seer Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru urged Yeddyurappa (who was present on the dais), to take the matter to the people.

“It is not proper to take politics to shrines,” they stated.

In Mangalore, Pejawar Mutt seer Vishveshathirtha said he was against making a religious centre a forum for “political manipulations.” The action of both leaders in taking a pledge to justify their stands at a temple will set a bad precedent, he added.

The chief minister is learnt to have been advised by his close aides to have his showdown with Kumaraswamy on a platform other than a shrine.

At the same time, the withdrawal syndrome seems to be slowly gripping the Gowda family, too. Kumaraswamy’s father and Janata Dal (Secular) supremo H D Deve Gowda went a step further by stating that the much-talked-about “truth test” may not take place at all.

Gowda said the matter is “likely to be solved before June 27” and that Kumaraswamy will not force Yeddyurappa to stick to his challenge, if the chief minister reverses his decision. “The religious seers have requested the chief minister to think the matter over. If he has any respect for them (religious seers) then he will take note of their opinion. This (challenge) is not a proper decision for any chief minister,” the former prime minister said.

However, Kumaraswamy said he has not changed his plan to go to Dharmasthala.  The showdown at Dharmasthala unfolded on Saturday with Kumaraswamy stating that he has accepted Yeddyurappa’s challenge to take an oath before Lord Manjunatha to vouch for his statement that the chief minister had tried to buy his silence through inducements and political accommodation. 

Published 21 June 2011, 06:18 IST

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