Five years an ascetic

A man who took up Sanyasa in 2013 after his candidate lost, will decide whether he is prepared to return to Samsara after May 15.

By Ravi K

YADGIR: It has been five years since 58-year- old Basanna, a native of Waganagera village in Shorapur, took up the saffron. Living in Kadakola Madivalappa mutt hear Hebbal village since results were declared in 2013, he has neither been home nor even seen his wife and children since then. All so that he could stay true to a bet he made on the poll prospects of his favourite candidate.

Basanna is a prominent loyalist and follower of Narasimha Nayak, former Minister and JDS’ candidate for Shorpur constituency in 2013. Before the previous elections, he had accepted a challenge by his Congress friends that their candidate, Raja Venkatappa Naik, would emerge victorious this time. Enraged by this claim, he said that he would become a sanyasi if Nayak was defeated. After Nayak lost in polls by a margin of over 4000 votes, Basanna, famously unlike the ilk he so passionately supports, followed through on his word.

A graduate of bachelor of arts from Dharwad University, Basanna had been a contractor and political loyalist who also worked on his 10 acres of agricultural land in the village. His wife and his three children, including two sons and a daughter also live in the same village. But for the past five years, neither has he visited his lands nor encouraged any contact with his family.

Now with the next elections upon us, is his life set for another drastic disruption? Will this year’s results mean the end of his ascetic life? The answer is yet to be revealed by him. When asked if he will ever be returning to domestic life, Basanna responded that everything will be decided on the day of results on May 15. “I will come before the people by 1 pm on May 15 with a firm decision,” he said, adding that he never feel bad after the decision to take up the saffron and staying at the mutt, where he has been occupied with spiritual pursuits.

Recently Nayak met him, in order to persuade him to return to his old life. Nayak, who is now contesting on a BJP ticket, is up against the same competitor, INC’s Naik, who defeated him in polls last time. But Basanna maintained his silence after this meeting. “I never returned home in these five years after becoming a Sanyasi and I would want adhere to my promise,” he told 101Reporters, adding that he would answer everybody at 1 pm on May 15 after results of elections were announced.