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Siddaramaiah pushes for Bharat Ratna for Lingayat seer Shivakumara Swamiji

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New Delhi, Jan 26: Congress leader Siddaramaiah has once again hit back at Narendra Modi government for delaying a Bharat Ratna to Lingayat seer Siddaganga Swamiji. The 111-year-old seer died this week.

Siddaramaiah

"Siddaganga Swamiji should have been honoured with Bharat Ratna for his work, just coming to the mutt and sitting beside his mortal remains is not enough. We welcome honouring Pranab Mukherjee but Siddaganga seer should have also been honoured Karnataka," wrote Siddaramaiah.

The Lingayat spiritual leader, often known as the "walking god" and revered by millions, died on Monday at the age of 111 after an illness. Before his death, political leaders from both ends of the political spectrum had said he should receive the Bharat Ratna. Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal Secular had said this at Tumakuru, where the Sree Siddaganga Mutt is located, and that view was echoed by BJP state party chief and former chief minister, BS Yeddyurappa. The demand was made again after the seer's death.

Shivakumara Swami was one of the most respected religious and social practitioners of the Lingayat-Veerashaiva faith of Lingayatism.

As the founder of the Sri Siddaganga Education Society, he helped thousands access education. He also had an honorary doctorate in literature. The seer was a philanthropist and touched the lives of many, from different religions and castes.

Former president Pranab Mukherjee, social activist Nanaji Deshmukh and music maestro Bhupen Hazarika were awarded the Bharat Ratna on Friday evening by President Ram Nath Kovind.

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