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Sonia Gandhi visits Karnataka, aims to woo Lingayat community

Tumkur , Sat, 28 Apr 2012 ANI

Tumkur, Apr 28 (ANI): Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi arrived in the Karnataka to woo voters from the Lingayat community and attend the birthday celebrations of the highly respected Lingayat seer Shivakumara Swami at the 'Siddaganga Mutt' in Tumkur District.

Gandhi, who is on a two-day tour of the state, said Swamiji had inspired millions of people.

"May Dr. Shivakumara Swamji continue to inspire lakhs and lakhs of people across the state, across our country and indeed across the world in the cause of education, social service, philanthropy and spirituality. The 'Siddaganga Mutt' with its recorded history of 600 years is truly unique," said Sonia Gandhi.

She later added that education was a crucial tool to give power to the weaker sections of society and it was clearly visible in Karnataka.

"Education must lead to a deep sensitivity to social justice. It is education that has led to the empowerment of weaker sections of society that is so very apparent in many parts of our country, especially Karnataka," said Gandhi.

The Congress chief's visit is being seen as an effort to motivate party workers for the 2013 state assembly polls.

Media reports also claimed that Gandhi's visit is aimed at wooing the Lingayat community and strengthen the Congress vote bank. The community forms a major chunk of the vote bank in the state.

Although, loyalties of the Lingayats lie with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), with the former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa being the most important leader of the community. But his ouster on graft charges has cast doubts in the mind of Lingayats. (ANI)

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