Victory for priests as Uttarakhand government scraps Char Dham Devasthanam Board Act

Priests of the Char Dham have been opposing the law from before its inception saying that it robs them of their 'Haq-Hukuk' (traditional rights)

Published: 30th November 2021 01:24 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th November 2021 02:22 PM   |  A+A-

Badrinath-Kedarnath Temple

Representational Image. (File Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Tuesday announced the repealing of the Char Dham Devasthanam Board Act which has been a bone of contention between priests and the government.

Char Dham priests had warned that if there was no action till November 30, they would intensify their ongoing agitation against the law.

"After having a word with all stakeholders including Char Dham purohits and on the basis of recommendations of the committee formed in the chairmanship of Manohar Kant Dhyani ji, we have decided to roll back the Char Dham Devasthanam Board law," said Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami.

The development comes a day after priests from Char Dham performed 'Shirshasana' protesting against the law which was passed in the Uttarakhand state assembly while Trivendra Singh Rawat was the CM of the hill state.

The priests body had also said that they will decide on fielding candidates in 15 seats in the upcoming assembly elections after November 30, 2021.

Earlier this month, former Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat was not allowed to enter Kedarnath shrine by the priests as he was the CM at the time of the enactment of the law.

Priests of the Char Dham have been opposing the law from before its inception saying that it robs them of their 'Haq-Hukuk' (traditional rights).

On November 1, ahead of the Prime Minister's visit to Kedarnath, angry priests protested against TS Rawat and virtually drove him out of the shrine. This had sent shockwaves and senior state leaders including the CM were called to Delhi to discuss the matter.

CM Dhami, state BJP president Madan Kaushik and other leaders travelled to Delhi to discuss the matter with the party leadership.

State leaders met the national BJP president JP Nadda, chief BJP spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Anil Baluni to find a way out.

In July 2020, the Uttarakhand high court dismissed the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy in February 2020 opposing formation of 'Char Dham Devasthanam Board' under a law to govern Char Dham and 51 other temples.


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