CM Siddaramaiah slams BJP state chief Vijayendra for polarising people on communal lines

08:36 PM Feb 22, 2024 | PTI |

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday slammed the state BJP, saying it has hurled allegations against the government over amendments to the Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowment Bill, in order to mislead people and polarise them along communal lines.


The Karnataka Assembly on Wednesday passed the Hindu Religious Endowments (Amendment) Act, which according to government sources, will enable the government to collect a percentage of the earnings of temples for providing facilities and safety to pilgrims within the jurisdiction of Group ‘A’ temples.

It is proposed to collect five per cent from temples earning Rs 10 lakh but less than Rs one crore, and 10 per cent from those earning above Rs one crore.

BJP state unit chief B Y Vijayendra portrayed this levy as the government’s plan to ”gobble up” temple revenue. He alleged that this not only reflects the deplorable condition of this government’s finances, but also went to make the claim that is shows its ”abject hate” towards Hindu Dharma.

Siddaramaiah hit back, saying Vijayendra is a good fit for the post of BJP state chief as he is inclined to lying, and pointed out that funds collected from temples are used for the sole purpose of Hindu institutions and Hindu community welfare alone, and not for any other religious communities or purposes, contrary to the opposition party’s claims. The chief minister said the levy has been misrepresented for political gain. There has always been a mandate to create a common pool since the enactment of the Act in 1997, he underlined.


The common pool is administered solely for religious purposes connected with the Hindu religion, Siddaramaiah pointed out. He added that the Common Pool Fund has been utilised only for the religious purposes of Hindu institutions since the Act came into force in 2003, and it will continue to be used for the same purposes in the future.

“It has not been utilised for any other purposes or for the benefit of followers of other religions. These provisions underscore a commitment to using temple funds for the welfare and upliftment of the Hindu community, directly contradicting claims of misallocation of funds for non-Hindu purposes or the imposition of unfair taxes,” the chief minister underscored.

“The baseless allegations by BJP leaders are aimed only at misleading the public and polarising people along communal lines for political leverage. BJP leaders should be ashamed of their unethical practices,” Siddaramaiah added.

By misleading the public, BJP leaders want the youth of the country to abandon their jobs and fight an imaginary war, solely to benefit the BJP politically, the chief minister charged.

“It is clear that the @BJP4Karnataka has reserved their State President post for those who are inclined to lie. @BYVijayendra seems to be a good fit for the post, or perhaps he is competing with other BJP leaders to retain it.” “Shame on Vijayendra! His credibility as a leader is plummeting, much like the Indian Rupee under Narendra Modi,” Siddaramaiah said in a post on social media platform X.


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