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Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai says temples in Kartnataka will be freed from state control and allowed to function independently

Published : Dec 30, 2021 13:52 IST T+T-
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai with other leaders after inaugurating the ‘Karmika Bhavan’ in Hubballi on December 29. Wednesday.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai with other leaders after inaugurating the ‘Karmika Bhavan’ in Hubballi on December 29. Wednesday.

"A law will be brought before the Budget session to remove legal provisions that control the functioning of temples and allow them to function independently."

VIKHAR AHMED SAYEED

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Karnataka will take steps to ensure that government control over temples is relaxed and temples are freed from the legal provisions that restrict their functioning. Delivering the valedictory address at the State executive committee meeting of the State Unit of the BJP in Hubballi on December 29, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said: "A law will be brought before the Budget session [of the Legislative Assembly] to remove legal provisions that control the functioning of temples and allow them to function independently."

He added: "Seniors brought to my notice that the funds and gifts collected by a temple from devotees cannot be used by that temple for its development. Temples have to be freed from the requirement to take permission from officials who control the funds to be used for development. The aim of our government is that temples must be completely free."

After the passage of The Karnataka Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021, (popularly known as the Anti-Conversion Bill) last week, it is clear that the BJP government in Karnataka is planning to implement another Hindutva demand. Various organisations within the Sangh Parivar such as the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal have been demanding that a law be brought in to free temples from government control. The logic for this demand was that the donations of Hindu devotees go to the Muzrai department, through which it reaches the State’s coffers where budgetary allocations are made for different goals. Instead, the donations to a particular temple must be used for that temple’s development and only for the welfare of Hindus, according to these organisations.