Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara Wednesday questioned the absence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the funeral of 111-year old Sree Shivakumara Swami of Siddaganga mutt.
“PM Modi attends celebrity weddings, meets movie stars but skips the funeral of our NadedaDuva devaru (walking god), who dedicated his life to help the poor and the marginalised. Repeated requests to confer Bharat Ratna on him have gone in vain. Truly well-deserved recipient of Kotler Award,” Parameshwara tweeted.
The seer, who passed away on Monday, was laid to rest Tuesday with full state honours at the premises of the seminary that he headed for over seven decades.
While inaugurating the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention in his parliamentary constituency Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday, Modi had said the country would always remember the seer’s work for mankind.
Condoling the demise of Shivakumara Swami, Modi had said he was always showered with love and blessings by the seer during their interactions.
Union ministers D V Sadananda Gowda and Nirmala Sitharaman had paid their last respects to the seer.
Meanwhile, commenting on the Deputy Chief Minister’s statement, Karnataka Home Minister M B Patil said the Prime Minister should have attended the funeral if he had no other engagements.
“It is not right on my part to react on that, you can ask this question to the Deputy Chief Minister. Maybe, he (DCM) is right if the Prime Minister did not have any other engagements, he should have been…because everybody knew about services of the great Maha swamiji…,” he said.
Reacting to Parameshwara’s comment, Karnataka BJP said. “PM Modiji knows Indian traditions and has always valued religious icons unlike your opportunist president (Rahul Gandhi). A party that wanted to divide Lord Basavanna’s Lingayat community who’s preaching’s Shivakumara Swamiji believed in has now resorted to politics over Shris lingaikya. #Shame,” the state BJP said in a tweet.
The Prime Ministers visit may be “difficult” despite his personal desire to come, state BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa had said on Monday, citing non-availability of security permission from Delhi and trouble that devotees may have had to face during the visit as the reasons for it.