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Karnataka minister Sriramulu writes to Goddess Durga, says wants to ‘become deputy CM’

The Print logo The Print 19-09-2020 Rohini Swamy
a group of people wearing costumes © Provided by The Print

Bengaluru: Karnataka’s Health Minister B. Sriramulu has sparked some curiosity after he was seen offering a slip of paper at the famous Durga temple in Shahapur.

The minister, who visited the temple Thursday, placed the paper at the feet of the deity’s idol and prayed before handling it to the priest.

When reporters quizzed him, he replied, “It is between me and the Goddess.”

The temple priest, Mareappa, however, later revealed that Sriramulu had put in a political request. “He wrote he wanted to become the deputy chief minister and the Goddess should fulfill it,” Mareappa told ThPrint.

ThePrint reached Sriramulu’s office over phone, but was refused a comment.

The minister is known for his devoutness. In July, when Covid cases began rising in India as well as in Karnataka, Sriramulu said while the virus spares nobody, “only God can help us”.

It is a popular practice at the Durga temple for devotees to write down their wishes and place these slips of paper at the feet of the idol. After offering prayers, the paper is then handed over to the temple priest, just as Sriramulu had done.

Earlier this year, Karnataka Congress chief D.K. Shivakumar also visited the temple after he was released from jail in a money laundering case.

Also read: ‘Don’t be Covid super spreaders’ — Karnataka politicians urged to ensure sustained use of mask

An unfulfilled wish

When B.S Yediyurappa took over as Karnataka’s chief minister in July 2019, Sriramulu hoped to become the deputy CM. However, the BJP high command decided on appointing three deputies representing the Lingayats, Vokkaligas and Scheduled castes, all three politically significant communities.

Sriramulu is from the Nayaka (scheduled tribe) community.

Speculation of a possible rejig in the Karnataka government picked up this week with Yediyurappa arriving in New Delhi on a three-day visit. The CM already met Prime Minister Narendra Modi is due to hold talks with BJP national general secretary J.P. Nadda.

However, Yediyurappa Friday, dismissed them and reports of Janata Dal (Secular) considering extending support to the state government.

“It is all speculation, there is no truth in it. As one of the leaders of the Opposition party, Kumaraswamy had recently met me to discuss development-related works. There was no political issue discussed in that meeting,” PTI reported Yediyurappa as saying.

Also read: Hot-blooded and ‘bulldozer’ to assertive and mature — the ‘mellowing’ of BS Yediyurappa

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