Updated: November 2, 2021 8:16:49 am
Former chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat had to face the ire of teerth purohits in Kedarnath on Monday as he arrived at the Himalayan temple to offer prayers.
Angry with Rawat as the Chardham Devasthanam Board was created through a legislation during his chief ministership, the teerth purohits showed him black flags and shouted slogans against him, forcing him to return without having ‘darshan’ at the temple.
“Go back, go back,” shouted the crowd of priests as the former chief minister walked towards the temple after getting down at the helipad at Kedarnath.
Realising that they were in no mood to relent, Rawat folded his hands and left as the angry priests continued hooting at him.
As Rawat turned to retrace his steps to the helipad with his head bent down, slogans like ‘Trivendra Rawat murdabad and teerth-purohit ekta zindabad’ rent the air.
The pilgrimage priests of the four Himalayan temples have been opposing the Chardham Devasthanam Board ever since it came into being during Rawat’s tenure. They feel the board is an infringement of their traditional rights over the temples and have been demanding its dissolution.
Under the pressure of the priests, present chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami had to constitute a committee headed by Manohar Kant Dhyani to hear all sides and find a solution.
The panel has submitted its interim report to the state government.
पूर्व मुख्यमंत्री त्रिवेंद्र सिंह रावत को तीर्थ पुरोहितो ने केदारनाथ से बैरंग लौटाया, नहीं करने दिए दर्शन।
त्रिवेंद्र ने सोचा भी नहीं होगा कि देवस्थानम बोर्ड के गठन का विरोध इस रूप में सामने आएगा कि केदार बाबा के प्रांगण से बग़ैर दर्शन किए लौटना पड़ेगा।
— Ajit Singh Rathi (@AjitSinghRathi) November 1, 2021
The Chardham Devasthanam Board, which is chaired by the chief minister, controls the management of 51 temples in the state, including Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri.
“We have come to the end of our patience on Devasthanam Board now. We were advised to remain patient at our meeting with Dhami on September 11 and we were following him. But we cannot remain silent any more,” Kedarnath teerth purohit Santosh Trivedi later told reporters.
“We have now decided to launch an aggressive agitation on the issue of Devasthanam board. Not letting Trivendra Singh Rawat visit the temple for a darshan was part of it,” he said.
The teerth purohits also shouted anti-government slogans before Cabinet Minister Dhan Singh Rawat and Pradesh BJP president Madan Kaushik, who had arrived separately for darshan at the temple.
Commenting on Rawat’s ‘insult’ by Kedarnath priests, Pradesh Congress vice president Dhirendra Pratap said, “You reap what you sow.”
The protest by the priests comes just a few days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s forthcoming visit to Kedarnath on November 5.
Modi is slated to inaugurate and lay foundation stone of reconstruction projects worth around Rs 400 crore at Kedarpuri during the visit.
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