Facing criticism from the BJP and the JDS over a notification that sought public opinion on a proposal for the state to take over temple trusts that run into financial trouble, the Congress government in Karnataka has decided to backtrack on the move.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told the state legislature on Thursday that the government was not looking at taking over temples, mutts and religious institutions. “A wrong message should not go out, so I have asked for withdrawal of the announcement. The question of the government taking over mutts or temples does not arise at all,’’ Siddaramaiah said.
The notice sought views from the public on bringing religious institutions of Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs under the purview of the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act, 1997.
“This shows the anti-Hindu attitude of the government,’’ state BJP president B S Yeddyurappa said on Thursday. JDS state president H D Kumaraswamy said it was distressing to hear that the government would move to take over temples and mutts.
The seer of the Pejawer Mutt Vishweshwara Thirtha Swami said he would not like to be associated with a government-aided mutt.
The notice said suggestions were needed to frame a law for the administration of temples, mutts and other institutions.