While ministers and politicians from across the spectrum have been demanding Bharat Ratna for Siddaganga Mutt seer Shivakumara Swami, Karnataka deputy chief minister G Parameshwara escalated the matter on Wednesday by slamming Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not attending the seer's funeral.
Parameshwara, in his tweet, noted that while Modi was busy attending "celebrity weddings" (Read: Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas' wedding) and meeting movie stars (Read: the Instagram post of the prime minister with the leading actors, producers and directors from the Hindi film industry), the prime minister did not have the time to attend the "funeral of NaDedāDuva devaru".
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Taunting the recent Philip Kotler Award which was given to Modi by the World Marketing Summit (WMS), Parameshwara said that the prime minister 'truly deserves' the Kotler award for not acting on the "repeated requests" for Bharat Ratna for the 111-year-old seer. The Kotler Award garnered bad press for itself after it emerged that the WMS Group has corporate ties with sponsors including public sector heavyweight, GAIL India, and partners like Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali group, and Republic TV (co-owned by BJP MP Rajeev Chandrashekhar), among others. Its origins and nature, shrouded in mystery and confidentiality, quickly launched a row over its legitimacy.
Speaking to CNN-News18, Parameshwara said that this was not an attempt to politicise the seer's death. "I have only expressed my feeling. I am not politicising the death of Swamiji. All I am saying is that Narendra Modi (as the Prime Minister) should have come for the funeral. It would show the country how well Swamiji was respected. It would have raised the stature of PMO."
Warring leaders united after the seer's death on Monday demanding Bharat Ratna for him. Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, former chief minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah, BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa, Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, were among the many politicians who vociferously asked the Centre to consider the seer for Bharat Ratna. The Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award in the country.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, said, "I request the government of India to give him Bharat Ratna. He is worthy of getting the title. Such a great man from Karnataka, it is worth to bestow the Bharat Ratna on him." Kumaraswamy said he would write to the prime minister, demanding the same. "I will write and also personally meet Modi and demand that Bharat Ratna be conferred on Shree Shivakumara Swamiji." This is not first time leaders have urged the Centre to confer Bharat Ratna on Shivakumara Swami. In 2008, while glowing tributes were paid to the seer to mark his centenary year the then chief minister Yeddyurappa had sought Bharat Ratna for the Siddaganga seer.
Updated Date: Jan 23, 2019 12:36:49 IST