With a month to go for the Karnataka Assembly elections, candidates from the Congress, Janata Dal (Secular), and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have turned to religion for divine intervention for a successful victory. In March, former Chief Minister and JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy was among the first politicians to pray, conducting nine days of rituals with the help of 100 priests to chant 700 ‘Sapthashathi’ mantras and offering homa to please the goddess Durga.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president and former Minister D.K. Shivakumar also engaged in religious rituals, seeking God’s guidance with his wife. The prominent Congress leader offered prayers at Sri Kalahastheeswara swamy temple, near Tirupati, and even conducted a special pooja at the Adichunchanagiri mutt in Mandya district. He is also scheduled for a ‘Rahu Ketu Puja’ on May 10. On the other hand, BJP leader B.S. Yediyurappa has not engaged in any religious rituals yet.
The advice to perform such rituals was given to Mr Kumaraswamy by Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, who had been conducting similar rituals in the past and had supported the JD(S) in Karnataka elections.
The article reminds us the importance religion plays in politics and how it is used as a tool to attract votes. With religion being a mostly divisive tool, the article suggests that Karnataka’s political parties are tapping into the same for a greater good of the assembly elections.