Sensing political reprisal, Karnataka government withdraws notification seeking control of mutt-controlled religious institutions

Chief minister Siddaramaiah, speaking at the Legislative Council, withdrew the notification soon after Opposition leader K S Eshwarappa had expressed his reservation over the issue. 

Published: 08th February 2018 05:50 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th February 2018 05:50 PM   |  A+A-

Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah. (File)

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: The Karnataka government on Thursday withdrew a notification seeking public opinion to include various mutt-controlled religious institutions across Karnataka under the Religious Endowment Department. 

Chief minister Siddaramaiah, speaking at the Legislative Council, withdrew the notification soon after Opposition leader K S Eshwarappa had expressed his reservation over the issue. 

Even as the state government withdrew the order, members of BJP in the Council staged a walkout, with opposition leader in the Council, K S Eshwarappa alleging that the circular has hurt the feelings of pontiffs of several mutts.

It can be recalled that the notification comes three years after the state government unsuccessfully tabled the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments(Amendment) Bill, 2014. The Bill was scrapped following opposition from pontiffs of different mutts, who had threatened to take the issue to Congress high command to oust Siddaramaiah. 

The notification issued on January 29, had sought an opinion from various pontiffs, administrative committee members of various temples, priests and others. 

Siddaramaiah said that the notification was issued, following directions made by the Supreme Court in 2005, after it struck down the Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act, 1997. 

"The court had also directed to make a regulatory body for these institutions, and a similar notification was issued by Justice Rama Jois Committee in 2007. There is no difference between the recent notification and the one issued in 2007," he said.

However, Eshwarappa disputed the same, stating that while the 2007 notification was by the Committee, the new notification was by the State government.

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