Mysuru (Karnataka): Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa offered prayers and ‘Bagina’ to the brimming Cauvery river as thanksgiving for the filling up of the KRS and Kabini reservoirs with heavy rains, an official said on Friday.
“The chief minister flew to the Krishnarajasagar (KRS) dam near Srirangapatna in Mandya district in a helicopter from Bengaluru and offered ‘Bagina’, consisting of flowers, fruits, rice flakes, coconuts and a silk sari in a handmade open bamboo tray to the flowing river for thanksgiving,” the official told IANS.
Srirangapatna is 130 km southwest of Bengaluru on way to Mysuru in the state.
Later, Yediyurappa flew to Kabini dam in Mysuru district and made similar offerings to the tributary of Cauvery, though it originates in the Waynad district of the neighbouring Kerala state.
Timely southwest monsoon and copious rains since June have filled the mighty Cauvery river, which originates at Talacauvery near Baghamandala in the adjacent Kodagu district and runs through Tamil Nadu to the Bay of Bengal on the east coast.
Cauvery and its tributaries, including Kabini, Harangi and Hemavathy are the lifeline of the river basin in the state’s southern region where lakhs of farmers depend on them for irrigating their fields and the people for drinking water.
State Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, Mysuru district in-charge minister S.T. Somshekar, Mandya’s Independent Lok Sabha member Sumalatha Ambareesh and top officials participated in the functions.
“It’s the first time that septuagenarian Yediyurappa travelled out of Bengaluru since March due to Covid-induced extended lockdown and the pandemic keeping him occupied in the state capital,” the official recalled.
The chief minister also recently recovered from the corona virus infection.
All who participated in the twin events, including Yediyurappa and others were seen wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing.
Yediyurappa offered a ‘Bagina’ to the river in the past too when he was the state’s chief minister from 2008-11 and again in 2019.
Incidentally, Yediyurappa was born at Bukenakare in Mandya district though he shifted to Shivamoga in the Malnad region later.
Former Congress chief minister S.M. Krishna, who hails from Somanahalli in the same district, also offered prayers to the river but only once in his 5-year tenure (1999-2004), as consecutive drought for 3-4 years prevented him from doing it.
The practice of offering Bagina to the river at the KRS dam was started in 1979 by then chief minister D. Devaraj Urs and was followed by successive chief ministers of all the political parties as it is considered auspicious for the state.