Bengaluru, Jan 25 (PTI) Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to confer Bharat Ratna on Sivakumara Swamiji of the Shree Siddaganga Mutt. Also Read - Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Birth Anniversary: Famous Poems Penned by Former Prime Minister

Referring to the achievements of the centenarian Swamiji, Siddaramaiah said, his service to the people deserves recognition at the highest level through the award of Bharat Ratna. Also Read - Details of Prime Minister's Flights Cannot be Disclosed as it Relates to His Security Apparatus: IAF

In a letter to Modi, Siddaramaiah urged him to confer the nation’s highest civilian award on the revered swamiji, “who is referred to as ‘the Walking God’ by legions of his devotees and admirers.” Also Read - UK PM Boris Johnson Offers Days Off From Lockdown To Form 'Christmas Bubble'

The swami has been at the helm of Siddaganga Mutt at Tumakuru since 1941.

He is revered by the numerically and politically strong Lingayat community, as also others, for his social service spanning several decades.

Born in April 1908, he continues to guide the Mutt, which has been doing exemplary service to the community at large, the poor in particular, without any discrimination of religion or caste, Siddaramaiah said.

Shree Siddaganga Education Society, set up by him, has established more than 130 educational institutions, mostly in rural and semi-urban areas, the chief minister said. The institutions are providing education ranging from Sanskrit studies to engineering and technology.

The Mutt also hosts more than 9000 children who are provided free food, shelter and education.

Noting that the Swamiji has rendered remarkable service to society for over seven decades through philanthropy, education and spiritual activities, Siddaramaiah said he has dedicated his life, with selfless devotion, to the betterment of humanity.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.