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Kerala Minister Removes 'Throne' Set For Sringeri Mutt Head at Event, Sparks Controversy

Neethu Reghukumar | CNN-News18

Updated: June 20, 2017, 1:54 PM IST
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Kerala Minister Removes 'Throne' Set For Sringeri Mutt Head at Event, Sparks Controversy
File photo of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple. Source: Kerala Tourism
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Devaswom board minister Kadakampally Surendran has courted controversy after her removed a throne-like sofa placed on the stage for the head of the Sringeri Mutt at an event here.

The incident happened on Sunday during a function to inaugurate the renovated Mithranandapuram pond next to the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple.

Surendran said that in a government programme, there is no need for special thrones that seated two or more people for single ministers or religious head.

The minister receiving praise for his action online including from Congress MLA V T Balram but BJP leaders in Karnataka say that it was tantamount to an insult to the Mutt head and demanded his apology.

Minister Kadakampally in his Facebook post has said that the state government had renovated the pond spending Rs 1. 5 crore and the programme notice clearly states that the sringeri mutt head Sri Bharathi Theertha Swami or no other swami was invited as guest.

"There is no need of thrones for anyone that have space to accommodate two to three people in official programmes. I thought it is improper and removed the throne. Saw in news that the swami who came instead of the Sringeri Mutt head did not enter the stage as he did not see the throne,” he said.

“When I saw the throne and enquired, the members of the administrative committee said that it was there to seat the Sringeri Mutt head if he came. On a government programme, there is no need for such a throne for a minister or a mutt head. I said that and with the help of MLA V S Sivakumar, I removed that throne. There is no need of any doubt in my stand. For one person to sit there, there is no need of thrones that can seat two to three people. Such thrones should be removed from government programmes."

The move did not go down well with BJP leaders from Karnataka with BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa calling it an insult to the Sringeri Mutt and demanding an apology.

“This incident has hurt countless followers of Sringeri Mutt. The minister must apologise to Sringeri swami ji,” Yeddyurappa said.

However, in Kerala, the BJP leaders in the state are more cautious on the subject. BJP MLA O Rajagopal, who was there at the function, said," It is a fact that a junior swami of the Sringeri Mutt came to bless the event. He came, poured water to inaugurate and then left. On the notice the swami's name was not there as guest. This particular sofa kind of chair took more space and I saw that the minister himself take the initiative and removed it."

When asked about Yeddyurappa’s reaction, he said, "It depends on the agreement between the organizers and the swami but it is a fact that the swami's name was not there in the notice.”
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