Mallikarjun Kharge's temple trip surprises many

Kalburagi: Accompanied by thousands of his supporters, veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who is facing perhaps the toughest battle of his nearly five decade long political career, on Thursday filed his nomination papers.

With Working President of the KPCC Eshwar Khandre, Ministers Rajashekhar Patil and Priyank Kharge and more than half a dozen legislators by his side, Mr Kharge went to the Deputy Commissioner's office to file his papers. His supporters, braving the scorching heat and dancing to the beating of drums,  raised  slogans  like "Abhivrudhi Kelasakke, Kharge Mattomme (for development,  Kharge again). On the way Mr Kharge garlanded the statues of Dr B.R. Ambedkar, Basavanna and Babu Jagjivan Ram.

Speaking to the media , Mr Kharge enigmatically remarked that "the cooperation of the media is needed for my victory." He said he had faced many elections and this is like any other  election. "I have fought 11 elections and this is the 12th. This is my third Lok Sabha election and I am confident that I will win. My appeal to the media is that it should play an impartial role and support the freedom of speech and values enshrined in the Constitution", he observed.

Jadhav will win: kodimutt seer

Kodimutt Swamiji Shri Shivanand Shivayogi Rajendra Swamiji has predicted the victory of BJP candidate Dr Umesh Jadhav in the tough battle against Mallikarjun Kharge in this election. “The swamiji has told me that I will not only win but I will also become a Union minister”,  Dr Jadhav told the media on Thursday. The swamiji is known for making ‘Bhavishya vaani’ (forecasts) and many big politicians have met him to know their prospects as they believe it will invariably come true.

‘In sankat’, Cong leader knocks on holy doors

The adage ‘Sankata Bandaga Venkataramana’ (only when you are in crisis do you remember Lord Venkataramana) aptly describes veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge’s hurried visits to religious places including temples to seek the blessings of religious heads ahead of the polls.

Mr Kharge who usually does not visit temples or pay obeisance to religious heads, visited the famous Sharanabasaveshwara Temple, Khaja Bande Nawaz Dagah and Buddha Vihara before filing his nomination papers. Accompanied by former Minister Dr Sharanprakash Patil and former legislator Allamprabhu Patil, he also met the Peethadhipathi of SB Temple Trust Dr Sharanabasappa Appa and sought his blessings. Later he visited the Hingulambaika Temple at Saraf Bazar and the Khaja Bandenawaz Dargah.

During his interaction with the media, Mr Kharge said he met the Peethadhipathi occasionally to discuss various issues. “But I'm visiting the temple now as I'm filing my  papers. This is a reputed temple and I have visited it in my childhood,” he said.

When a reporter quoted BJP President Amit Shah's comment that of late Congress leaders are frequenting Hindu religious places, an angry Kharge retorted “I’ve the freedom to go anywhere I want and I don't need his approval. This is my third Lok Sabha election. When I was in Gurmitkal, I had no occasion to come here (the temples)”.

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