Responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks at a rally in Telangana's Nizamabad, in which he said that governments in southern states, especially Tamil Nadu, have captured Hindu temples and temples were looted, Chief Minister MK Stalin said that he strongly denies such allegations and condemns the remarks.
Chief Minister Stalin was speaking at a programme to mark the 200th birth anniversary of the Tamil saint Vallalar.
Further, he said that he sought to know on whose behalf was PM Modi making such remarks and the necessity for them while speaking in other states.
Speaking about the work done by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HRCE) department, he said that temple lands worth Rs 3500 crore had been recovered in the last two years, kumbhabhishekam of 1000 temples had been organised and Rs 100 crore had been allocated for the restoration of ancient temples.
He added that renovation of 5078 temples including 1250 shrines in areas inhabited by SC/ST communities and another 1250 villages was planned in this year.
He asked if these were "wrong" and said that some people were trying to make political gains by misusing spiritualism but the people of Tamil Nadu would distinguish between spiritualism and politics and therefore such statements would not work.
In a post on X (formerly Twitter), temple activist TR Ramesh wrote that he had challenged the HRCE minister P Sekar Babu to produce the copies of "legally valid orders of appointment of Executive Officers made for the very first time" and if the government was unable to produce such copies, no other proof is required to prove what PM Modi had said on the state government's occupation of temples.
In an earlier post, he had stated, "According to the department, out of 44000 temples, executive officers have been appointed in 628 temples. Out of these 628 temples, in more than 400 temples, the executive officers do not have an order of appointment by the commissioner under the relevant section of the statute.
"I have filed cases about this matter with regards to 120 temples and not even one such order has been produced by the department in the court. Is this not a huge legal scam?"
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