A senior BJP leader Dr. Subramanian Swamy writes to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Issue orders to withdraw an Act to take over 51 temples including Char Dham in BJP governed Uttarakhand

The letter mentions that the take-over of temples by the Government is against the Constitution, as well as, the ideology of pro-Hindutva BJP.

New Delhi – The senior leader of BJP and Rajya Sabha MP Dr. Subramanian Swamy demanded that the BJP Chief Minister of Uttarakhand should revoke the Act to take over 51 temples including Char Dham in the State, through a letter addressed to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Dr. Subramanian Swamy writes in his letter –

1. The Uttarakhand BJP Government had brought legislation to take over almost all the temples of the State and also appointed the Chief Minister as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. This move is not only against the policy of our party and ideology of Hindutva but also illegal and against the judgement of the Supreme Court (now widely known case as Subramanian Swamy vs. State of Tamil Nadu judgement by the Supreme Court in 2014).

2. In this, the Supreme Court has laid down clearly that the Government under Article 25 of the Constitution cannot take over the administration of any temple, except for the brief period when there is a documented misappropriation of funds of the temple.

3. In Uttarakhand cases, there is no documentation of such misappropriation of funds either in the case of Badrinath Temple or Kedarnath Temple or any other 49 temples and hence the Government take over of such temples of Uttarakhand is unconstitutional.

4. Since this is a major embarrassment to all of us and our stand that the temples should be administered by the devotees and not by the Government. I, therefore, urge you to instruct the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand to withdraw this legislation by which the temples of Uttarakhand had been taken over. Rather than waiting for the Court to deliver judgement against this take-over, it would be in the interest of our party if you as Prime Minister gives a direction to the Chief Minister to restore the position which was existing before the take-over of the temples. It is also politically sensible to do so.

What is the Act of Uttarakhand Government to take over the temples ?

1. The control of temples will be transferred from the priests and Trust of the temples to Uttarakhand Government.

2. As per the Act, the MLAs, MPs and representatives appointed by the Government will look after the management of the temples.

3. After take-over of the temples, the Chief Minister will be head of Devasthanam Board which will have many administrative officers as members.

4. If the Chief Minister of the State would not be Hindu, the senior-most Hindu Minister will head the temple Board.

Dr. Subramanian Swamy had challenged the earlier ‘Char Dham Devsthanam Management Bill 2019’ in High Court

Dr. Subramanian Swamy had also earlier filed a Writ Petition in the High Court of Uttarakhand in ‘Char Dham Devsthanam Management Bill 2019’ case. The High Court had issued a Notice to the Government and others asking them why the said legislation should not be struck down. The reply to this notice is still awaited.

All Saints, Ascetics, Vishva Hindu Parishad, RSS, etc. have earlier opposed the Uttrakhand temple take-over Act.