‘Dharma Shri’ Award Conferred on Ashok Singhal of VHP

via mangalorean.com published on May 23, 2011

Puttur, May 23: The nondescript village of Ishwaramangala was abuzz with movement of vehicles all of a sudden on Sunday, May 22.

The dedication of the newly-erected Hanuman Theme Park and Panchamukhi Anjaneya shrine, and confernment of ‘Dharma Shri’ award on Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Ashok Singhal attracted a good number of VIPs. The police and the protocol machinery appeared to under strain.

Chief minister Yeddyurappa flew in by helicopter from Mangalore and landed at the makeshift helipad built at Maniyadka and then arrived by road from there. Shri Raghaveshwara Bharati of Ramachandrapur Math, Hosanagar and Singhal were already in Ishwaramangala on Saturday. Shri Vishwesha Tirtha Swamiji was also in attendance.

Shri Raghaveshwara Swamiji and the chief minister jointly conferred the award on Singhal. It was announced at the function that the next recipient of the award would be classical and playback singer Padma Shri K J Yesudas.

Embarrassment

There appeared to be a little bit of embarrassment for both Singhal and the organizers. Singhal, when his name was announced and was asked to occupy the ceremonial chair to receive the award, showed his reluctance to occupy it.

He is said to have confided that he was not aware of any award being conferred on him but had only come to attend the function as invited. Had he known about the award, he would not have come at all, he reportedly said in private. He also stressed that it was not in conformity with the RSS culture to receive any awards or honour, adding that he felt embarrassed to receive it.

Yeddyurappa who was to preside over the function had to leave in a huff, as he was suddenly summoned to Delhi by the BJP high command.

Another dramatic twist was added to the episode by a faux pas committed by the compere while announcing the CM’s arrival at a function held in connection with the decennial of a hospital in Mangalore on Sunday.

He said that the ‘former chief minister’ was on the way to the venue. This, added to by the sudden call in the afternoon from the high command to rush to Delhi, fuelled speculations over some possible political developments in the state.

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