The Congress government in Kerala informed the Assembly Monday that it has not diverted funds from temples for any state purposes. Instead, the government said, since it assumed office in 2011, the state has spent Rs 231.38 crore for the development of various temples.
This revelation by Temple Affairs Minister V S Sivakumar has blunted the campaign of Sangh Parivar outfits who had alleged that successive governments in Kerala have been looting the wealth of temples in the state. The minister was answering to a submission presented by Congress legislator V D Satheesan.
The minister said the state has not taken a single coin from the kitty of any temple in Kerala. “It was a baseless allegation that the government was diverting the funds from temples to other purposes,” he said.
Giving details of the money spent for the development of various temples, the minister said the collections at the temples are credited with the accounts of either temple boards or respective temples. Accounts of the temple boards are audited by the local audit department, he added.
Earlier, Vellappally Natesan, the general secretary of Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam, had raised the allegation that the state government was targeting temple wealth. He had then asked the government whether it would touch the income accrued at churches and mosques.