Uttarakhand Govt repeals of controversial Char Dham Devasthanam Board Act
At last, facing public anger and protests by temple pujaris, BJP ruled Uttarakhand Government on Tuesday declared the repealing of the controversial Char Dham Devasthanam Board Act, which enabled the taking over of 51 temples including Kedarnath and Badrinath. The Act was passed in September 2019, inviting protests from all around and BJP leaders approached High Court for quashing the law. High Court however disposed of the petition directing that temple’s assets and properties can’t be controlled. Subramanian Swamy petitioned to Supreme Court against the High Court order in September 2020 and the matter has not yet been listed.
As per the Act, the State Chief Minister will be the Chairman of the Board, and the Act was interestingly written that if Chief Minister is not a Hindu, then the senior-most Hindu Minister in the Cabinet will head the Board. Trivendra Singh Rawat lost Chief Ministership in a year facing corruption charges and second Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat in April 2021 at Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) meeting declared that the controversial Act will be repealed. But after some time Tirath Singh Rawat was removed and Pushkar Singh Dhami became Chief Minister
Protesting Pujaris gave Dhami an ultimatum on November 30, warning mass protest across the State. A few weeks back Trivendra Singh was shooed away by the protestors at Kedarnath. Uttarakhand is going to Assembly election in February 2022 and Congress had already declared they will withdraw this controversial Act.
“Keeping in mind the sentiments and interests of people, the honor of priests and the dignity and respect of all stakeholders, the Uttarakhand Government, on the recommendation of the high-powered committee set up under Shri Manohar Kant Dhami, has decided to withdraw the Devasthanam Board Act,” said Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami.
The blessing of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was with this temple take over Act. He even attended the Board meeting with Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat. Modi recently visited Kedarnath, few days before Rawat was shooed away.
Reacting to the government’s decision, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in an interview with PGurus Managing Editor Sree Iyer at New Delhi on Tuesday said that BJP had literally violated the party’s manifesto and RSS and VHP’s line of Government control in temple administration. Full video of the interview can be seen below:
 BJP’s U-turns in Uttarakhand Temple takeover continues. Second Chief Minister promised quashing of Devasthanam Board. Now third CM Pushkar Singh says Board will protect interests of priests – Aug 25, 2021, PGurus.com
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