Udupi, (The Hindu): In a departure from tradition, Lakshmivara Tirtha Swami of Shiroor Mutt (one of the Ashta Mutts of Udupi) on Saturday announced that he would contest as an Independent candidate or from the BJP, if given a ticket, from Udupi Assembly constituency.
Speaking to presspersons at the Moola Shiroor Mutt at Shiroor village in Udupi district, the seer said the BJP Udupi unit was “mired in corruption” and had no concern for the people or their problems. Hence, he had decided to contest the elections. He, however, said that he was happy with the State and national units of the BJP.
“If I stand as an Independent candidate, the BJP vote will split and the Congress will benefit. My fight is against the Udupi BJP unit,” he said. The seer said he would also be agreeable if the BJP gives him outside support and withdraws its candidate.
Interestingly, he described Minister for Fisheries Youth Empowerment and Sports, Pramod Madhwaraj, who represents the Udupi Assembly constituency, as a “model MLA for the State who has worked for the people”.
If Lakshmivara Tirtha contests the Assembly polls, he would be first seer from Ashta Mutts to do so. Asked if he had consulted the other seers of the Ashta Mutts, he said: “It is not necessary. Whether the seers of Ashta Mutts like my decision or not, Lord Krishna likes it.” He added that being in politics would not affect his duties as a seer.
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