Beleaguered Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa on Monday fell back on his time-tested practice of seeking divine intervention to safeguard his political career by spending almost the entire day with Sri Satya Sai Baba of Puttaparthy in Andhra Pradesh.
The Baba, who was celebrating his 85th birthday, is believed to have blessed the Lingayat leader, giving him
confidence to take on the BJP top brass, which has decided to replace him following allegations of land allotment scams involving his sons and daughter.
Yeddyurappa, who has
been pampering Lingayat mutts (centers) and religious leaders during his tenure as chief minister by attending their functions and extending donations, has always headed for temples rather than fellow partymen for solutions to his political problems.
The Lingayat community, which forms nearly 18% of voters in Karnataka, is known to be close to its religious leaders and mutts, who often dictate terms during elections.
Yeddyurappa’s efforts seemed to have paid off as three Lingayat community seers, under the banner of the Akhil Bharatiya Lingayat Mahasabha, came out in his support and condemned the BJP's reported moves to seek the chief minister’s resignation.
“The BJP’s action in seeking Yeddyurappa’s resignation is nothing but an assault on the Lingayat dharma. Yeddyurappa is the BJP and the BJP is Yeddyurappa (in Karnataka).
It is because of Yeddyurappa that the BJP government came to power here,” Jnanprabhu Siddarama Swami said here on Monday.
Ahead of the confidence motion in the assembly on October 11, Yeddyurappa had visited more than a dozen
temples in Karnataka and even undertook to educate a boy
who said he had prayed for the chief minister’s victory in the assembly.
The BJP leader’s favourite destination is the 11th century Rajarajeswara temple at Taliparamba in Kannur district of neighbouring Kerala, said an aide of Yeddyurappa.
Yeddyurappa had visited this temple and offered an elephant for the deity before taking office as the state chief minister in 2008.