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Controversial Udupi Seer Lakshmivara Theertha Dies; Probe Ordered as Followers Suspect Foul Play

Lakshmivara Theertha had hit the national headlines during the recent Karnataka Assembly polls by declaring that he would be contesting from Udupi as an Independent candidate if the BJP denied him the ticket.

D P Satish | CNN-News18dp_satish

Updated:July 19, 2018, 12:23 PM IST
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Controversial Udupi Seer Lakshmivara Theertha Dies; Probe Ordered as Followers Suspect Foul Play
File photo of seer Lakshmivara Theertha addressing his followers in a video. (Image: Youtube screengrab)
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Bengaluru: The controversial seer of Shirur Mutt in Udupi, Lakshmivara Theertha has died after a brief illness on Wednesday night. According to mutt sources, he died of suspected food poisoning.

The seer was rushed to nearby KMC hospital after he complained of severe pain in his stomach. His followers have alleged that Lakshmivara Theertha was poisoned.

The seer's advocate Ravikiran Murdeshwar told News18 that Lakshmivara Theertha had said that his life was under threat. The lawyer said, "Just two days ago, he had asked me to file criminal cases against six of his fellow seers. We demand an impartial probe."

Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister G Parameshwara said that he will order a probe into the death. "I was shocked to hear the news of his death. He had done a good job as a seer. Some of his followers are raising questions over his sudden death. Therefore, we will order a probe," he said.

Lakshmivara Theertha was a highly controversial seer among the eight seers of Ashta Mathas in Udupi.

He had shared a stormy relationship with rest of the seers who head remaining seven mutts which practice and preach the Dwaitha philosophy of 12th century great Saint Madhvacharya.

Lakshmivara Theertha had hit the national headlines during the recent Karnataka Assembly polls by declaring that he would be contesting from Udupi as an Independent candidate if the BJP denied him the ticket.

He had told the state BJP leaders that he would withdraw his candidature only if Prime Minister Narendra Modi requests him. Later he decided not to contest and the BJP's Raghupathi Bhat won from Udupi.

In an interview with News18 he had defended his decision to enter politics.

His carefree life and candid statements had made him a sensation in the state. He was loved and disliked in equal measure. By defying the 800-year-old convention he had travelled abroad by crossing the sea.


Several other top Karnataka leaders, including state BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa, have condoled his untimely death.
| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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