Bengaluru: On the second day of his three-day visit to Karnataka ahead of the 2018 assembly polls, BJP president Amit Shah on Monday visited Adichunchanagiri Mutt, which is highly regarded by the dominant Vokkaliga community in the state. His visit to the mutt at Nagamangala taluk in neighbouring Mandya district, with a significant influence over Vokkaligas, is seen as an attempt to woo the community.
Vokkaligas are the second largest community in Karnataka after Lingayats; they are significantly present in the old Mysuru or southern Karnataka region. Shah met the present pontiff of the mutt Nirmalanandanatha Swami and offered prayers at the temple.
He later released a biography on Balaganagadharanatha Swamiji, the previous pontiff, titled 'Story of a Guru'.
Lauding the works by the mutt and its pontiffs for the welfare of society, Shah made a special reference about Nadaprabhu Kempe Gowda, the founder of Bengaluru, who is highly regarded by Vokkaligas as he belonged to the community. "Having come here, I will fail in my duty if I don't remember Nadaprabhu Kempe Gowda, who was the follower of Adichunchanagiri Mutt," he said.
The BJP president also appreciated the efforts put in by mutts and religious institutions in India towards ensuring a welfare society.
"In many countries in the world it is entirely the government's duty to ensure the welfare of society. There are welfare states in many countries, but it is only in India where attempts are being made to create a welfare society because of the efforts being put in by mutts and religious institutions along with the government... sometimes they are even ahead of the government," he added.