Staff Correspondent

New trust members do not want the swamiji to come back

Shivayogi Swamiji had said that he was forced to quit as math head

Members say that he had voluntarily decided to leave the math

DHARWAD: The controversy over the swamiji of Murugha Math quitting his post took a new turn on Thursday with the members of the new trust of the math and elders of the Lingayat community announcing that they would not allow him to be reinstated.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, MLC Mohan Limbikai, MLA Chandrakanth Bellad, working president of the trust and former MLA Vinay Kulkarni, S.R. Ramanagoudar and V.S. Patil said that they were against any attempt to bring back Sri Shivayogi Swamiji as the math head.

They said that the swamiji had voluntarily taken the decision to quit the math. “None of us said that Shivayogi Appa should be ousted from the math and no one pressured the swamiji to quit. Even in the letter the swamiji signed before a notary, he had said that nobody had pressured or threatened him,” they said.

They said that the trust members were hurt by the statement given by the swamiji to presspersons in Hassan. The swamiji had said that he was forced to quit. After the swamiji’s press conference, swamijis of a few other maths had said that the swamiji should be reinstated as the head of the math.

Mr. Limbikai said that when some devotees wanted the swamiji to step down, the trust members decided that the swamiji should continue as the math head. Despite being aware of these developments, the swamiji had made the statement, he said. He said that “the trust members will only take suggestions from those speaking on behalf of Shivayogi Swamiji on choosing the next swamiji. They will hold discussions with the swamijis of Sattur, Chitradurga and Naganur and then take a final decision,” Mr. Limbikai said.

Mr. Kulkarni said that no trust member had tried to take possession of the property of the math. “All the members in the trust are those who have donated land to the math,” he said and added that “the swamiji should withdraw his statement.”

“There is a loan of Rs. 60 lakh on the math and the swamiji himself had sold the property of the math,” he alleged.

Mr. Bellad said that Murugha Math had a great history and had always welcomed people of all communities. However, the swamiji on his own had decided to quit the math and the swamiji’s allegations had pained the trust members, he said.