'Anti-Hindu': BJP slams Karnataka government for 10 percent tax on temples | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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'Anti-Hindu': BJP slams Karnataka government for 10 percent tax on temples

Feb 22, 2024 07:38 AM IST

Karnataka BJP president Vijayendra Yediyurappa said the Congress government wanted to fill its depleted coffers by adopting anti-Hindu policies.

Bengaluru: The Bharatiya Janata Party called the Congress government in Karnataka "anti-Hindu" after the latter passed the 'Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Bill 2024' in the state assembly on Wednesday.

BJP state chief Vijayendra Yediyurappa in Bengaluru. (ANI file photo)
BJP state chief Vijayendra Yediyurappa in Bengaluru. (ANI file photo)

The bill empowers the government to collect 10 percent tax from temples that have revenues exceeding 1 crore and 5 percent from those with revenues ranging between 10 lakh and 1 crore.

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Karnataka BJP president Vijayendra Yediyurappa said the Congress government wanted to fill its depleted coffers by adopting anti-Hindu policies.

"The Congress government, which is adopting consistently anti-Hindu policies in the state, has now taken a crooked look at the revenue of Hindu temples and passed the Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments bill to fill its empty coffers," he said on X.

He said the collected funds will be used for "another purpose".

"Under this, the government will collect 10% of the income from temples earning over 1 crore, this is nothing but poverty. The offering dedicated by the devotees for the knowledge of God and the development of the temple should be allocated for the renovation of the temple and for the convenience of the devotees. If it is allocated for another purpose, it is on the divine beliefs of the people. There will be violence and fraud," he added.

Also read: Soon, bill to free state temples from govt’s control, says Karnataka CM Bommai

Yediyurappa also wondered why only Hindu temples are being targeted and not other religions.

Reacting to the remarks, Karnataka minister Ramalinga Reddy accused the BJP of bringing religion into politics. He said the Congress is the true proponent of Hinduism.

"Sri Vijayendra Yediyurappa, it is clear that BJP always pursues political gains by claiming that Congress is anti-Hindu. However, we, the Congress, consider ourselves the true proponents of Hinduism because, over the years, Congress governments have consistently safeguarded temples and Hindu interests," he said.

"Did your BJP government neglect its responsibilities between 2008 and 2013, as well as from 2019 to 2023? It seems they turned a blind eye to the revenues of Hindu religious institutions and charitable endowments, despite the existence of acts or bills in place since 2001," he added.

With inputs from ANI

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