Congress says Bommai govt's Bill on religious structures aimed at vote-bank

Revenue minister R Ashok said the government introduced the Bill to protect temples. “We have to protect institutions of all religions," he added
File image of the Karnataka Assembly. (HT Photo)
File image of the Karnataka Assembly. (HT Photo)
Updated on Sep 21, 2021 04:51 PM IST
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Byhindustantimes.com | Written by Sohini Goswami, New Delhi

The Congress on Tuesday hit out at the Basavaraj Bommai-led government for introducing the Karnataka Religious Structures (Protection) Bill, 2021, that sought to protect illegal religious structures built on a public place.

Congress MLA NA Harris said the Bill was tabled in the Assembly as part of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) vote-bank politics. “They demolished temples, now they are saying they will protect them. They are making fools out of people. They should not touch any religious structure. It's being done for vote-bank. Everything cannot be made legal. They should have had a discussion (on the issue),” Harris was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

According to multiple reports, the Bill was framed in the wake of a court directive to demolish all structures “constructed on public places without the authority of law”, while also mandating that such structures would not come up in future.

“It is considered necessary to provide for the protection of religious construction in public places before the date of commencement of this Act in order to protect communal harmony and not hurt the religious sentiments of the public,” it said.

The Bill would cover all institutions of all faiths and include temples, mosques, churches, gurdwaras and so on.

Revenue minister R Ashok said the government introduced the Bill to protect temples. “We have to protect institutions of all religions," he added.

BJP leader CT Ravi said some issues could have been avoided had the Bill been brought up earlier, adding the Congress was doing drama over the issue. “We welcome the Karnataka government's decision,” he said.

 

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Monday, November 29, 2021