UDUPI : The management of the Mandarthi Sri Durgaparameshwari Temple which had once earlier kicked off a controversy by disallowing a Billawa artiste to don a Yakshagana role, has this time invited another controversy by not extending invitation to the Heggunje gram panchayat president to the fifth mela inaugural, for the sole reason that she was a Dalit.
The GP chief Asha Marathi who convened a press meet in the town has said so ?Several dignitaries had been invited for the inaugural of the fifth mela of the Mandarthi Temple. But, the temple executive officer and management had neglected me by not extending me an invitation for the reason that I am a Dalit.?
The inauguration of the fifth Yakshagana Mela of the Temple coming under Heggunje GP limits and under the purview of the religious and endowment department was held on November 17, Wednesday in the presence of dignitaries including DK district minister Krishna Palemar, Udupi district minister VS Acharya, legislator and ZP members. Asha Marathi has alleged that though she was the president of the panchayat she was deliberately offended by not extending an invitation to the function. ?Even the TP member Krishna Naik who belonged to the Kudubi community was not invited.? Asha alleged.
She has said that she would complain to the Religious and Endowment Department and the Chief Secretary of the state government seeking action against those found guilty. She also warned of an agitation against the temple management under the leadership of the Dalita Sangharhsa Samithi,
Heggunje GP members Kishore Kumar Shetty, Ganesh Shetty, Ashok Kumar Shetty were also present at the press meet.