Amid din in House, CM Stalin says BJP indulging in politics

Published on Apr 13, 2022 12:46 AM IST

In 2013, the HR&CE Department issued an order to take over the Ayodhya Mandapam. Subsequently, a ‘fit person’ (generally, an executive official) was appointed for managing the affairs of the mandapam.

Chief minister M K Stalin said that the BJP’s “unnecessary politics to strengthen their party” will never work in Tamil Nadu. (PTI)
Chief minister M K Stalin said that the BJP’s “unnecessary politics to strengthen their party” will never work in Tamil Nadu. (PTI)
By, Chennai

A day after the Tamil Nadu government took over Chennai’s Ayodhya Mandapam, amidst protest led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), chief minister M K Stalin on Tuesday asked BJP MLA and Mahila Morcha national president Vanathi Srinivasan that the Centre should rather focus on people’s issues and reduce fuel prices.

Stalin also said that the BJP’s “unnecessary politics to strengthen their party” will never work in Tamil Nadu. The issue also played out at the Madras high court on Monday. The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department officials locked the premises and decided to take over administration of the 64-year-old Sri Ram Samaj-run Ayodhya Mandapam (which is not a temple but where rituals and religious practices are conducted) after receiving complaints that the Sri Ram Samaj mismanaged huge amount of money received through the collection box.

On Monday, tension prevailed in Chennai’s West Mambalam, where this property is located. The protestors raised slogans such as ‘Ram Ram Sri Ram’, and ‘Don’t enter the Mandapam’. After it turned into a law-and-order problem, the city police detained the protestors, and the state government took possession of the property. The protestors were later released.

BJP’s only ward councillor of the city, Uma Anandan, who was part of the protest, criticised the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) for playing politics in the takeover. “Where is the show-cause notice?,” Anandan said.

In the assembly, BJP’s Srinivasan raised this issue to which the Tamil Nadu chief minister responded that the common people are burdened with increasing fuel and gas cylinder prices. He also added that he had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he met him earlier in Delhi, to release dues pending for Tamil Nadu. “You have to support us on such issues,” Stalin said. “You have to understand and act according to what benefits the people of the state. Instead, if you think that by bringing in politics, you can strengthen your party, it can never happen,” he said.

In 2013, the HR&CE Department issued an order to take over the Ayodhya Mandapam. Subsequently, a ‘fit person’ (generally, an executive official) was appointed for managing the affairs of the mandapam. The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) was the ruling party at the time.

In March this year, Madras high court judge Justice VM Velumani passed an order dismissing a petition filed by the Samaj contending that it is not a public temple and therefore the HR&CE cannot interfere. The HR&CE department argued that idols are kept there and regular poojas are conducted and that the Samaj receives huge money through the hundiyal (collection box), which is unaccounted for and is being used for personal purposes by some members. On Monday, based on an appeal filed by the Samaj, the court heard both sides on the appointment of a ‘fit person’ and adjourned the case till April 21.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Divya Chandrababu is an award-winning political and human rights journalist based in Chennai, India. Divya is presently Assistant Editor of the Hindustan Times where she covers Tamil Nadu & Puducherry. She started her career as a broadcast journalist at NDTV-Hindu where she anchored and wrote prime time news bulletins. Later, she covered politics, development, mental health, child and disability rights for The Times of India. Divya has been a journalism fellow for several programs including the Asia Journalism Fellowship at Singapore and the KAS Media Asia- The Caravan for narrative journalism. Divya has a master's in politics and international studies from the University of Warwick, UK. As an independent journalist Divya has written for Indian and foreign publications on domestic and international affairs.

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