By T S Sudhir
Move over Governor H R Bharadwaj, Karnataka is now truly Bhagwaan Bharose. At 10 am on June 27, Lord Manjunatha temple at Dharmasthala, a famous pilgrim town (275 km from Bangalore) in Dakshina Kannada district, will get sucked into the acrimonious war of words between chief minister B S Yeddyurappa and his arch rival, H D Kumaraswamy.
Before you say, Oh God, what is this new nataka now, this is the long story cut short. HDK accused Yeddy of sending an emissary, Leher Singh, to buy peace with money. As the charge created political ripples, an incensed CM challenged film producer-turned-politician HDK to do a retake of the allegation before Lord Manjunatha.
Why Lord Manjunatha? Well, the belief is that persons who have knowingly lied do not come for ‘nyaya teermana’ (justice and judgement) to Dharmasthala. And even if they do, they do not summon the courage to repeat the lie before the deity.
In keeping with the emblem at the entrance to the Vidhana Soudha in Bangalore, which says `Government’s work is God’s work’, three ministers R Ashoka, B N Bacchegowda and Somanna got busy with fixing the date for the temple face-off. And once Monday was decided as the D-day, an enthusiastic Kumaraswamy declared he will be there at the temple on the evening of June 26 itself.
Yeddy, who reportedly spent 75 lakh rupees of public money on advertisements in newspapers to throw his challenge, is on a weak wicket, with Leher Singh admitting he met HDK casually, though no attempt to influence was made. Will these half-truths work in the Lord’s court, one is not sure.
Kumaraswamy doesn’t enjoy a great reputation for keeping his word either. After he formed a coalition with the BJP in 2006 where in the arrangement was that he would be CM for 20 months and BSY for the next twenty, he pulled the plug the moment his tenure was over.
For a beleagured BJP, having to deal with its Achilles heel in Yeddy, this could be the last prayer upwards. Everytime the BJP cries hoarse about the UPA’s track record on corruption, the Congress asks it to look at its own backyard in Karnataka. The worthless semantics between the two parties do not amuse the common man in Bangalore, Mysore, Raichur and Mangalore. He is more worried about governance in Karnataka that has been reduced to a joke, though the BJP may point to its performance in recent byelections, where it scored impressive victories.
Karnataka Tourism’s tagline is `One state. Many worlds !’ I am pretty sure Yeddy takes it quite literally as he gives Karnataka and India a glimpse of the victories he would hope to score in various worlds. Lord Manjunatha, here we come !