The Karnataka election scenario is swiftly sweeping up a religious flavour as supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the state are seeking divine help for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to unseat the Congress in the coming state Assembly elections scheduled on May 12.
Modi's supporters are offering sacred tulsi plants at a famous shrine in Udupi. A devotee Keshavacharya carrying a potted tulsi plant travelled from Shiruru village, 22 km from Udupi, to pray for the BJP at the 800-year-old Sri Krishna temple, according to PTI.
Devotees offer as many as one lakh tulsi plants at the shrine daily and pray for their desires. The project to offer a lakh tulsi plants to Lord Krishna was initiated by Palimar Mutt's Vidyadheesha Tirtha Swami.
The project is to dedicate one lakh tulsi leaves of gold -- estimated to cost around Rs 32 crore -- to the Lord during his tenure that will end in 2020.
The plan is to adorn the roof of the sanctum sanctorum of Sri Krishna Mutt with gold topping, Vedavasa Tantri, the Diwan of the Sri Krishna Mutt, said.
The devotees, who cannot afford to contribute a golden tulsi leaf weighing one gram, are given the opportunity to render service by offering tulsi plants for 'tulsi archan' being performed daily since January, he said.
Asked if temple officials have come across devotees like Keshavarcharya, he said, "There may be. It is difficult to know with what prayers devotees visit the temple and offer tulsi plants. We never ask about it."
With the growing demand for tulsi plants, the temple's project has generated employment opportunities in the region. Many nurseries are being set up. The temple too has undertaken tulsi cultivation in around 14 acres in Udupi, Vedavasa Tantri added.
(With inputs from PTI)