No difference between Siddaramaiah, PFI: Karnataka minister Eshwarappa over Ram Mandir donation
- Eshwarappa also said even the poor are contributing towards the temple's construction and criticised the Congress leader’s attitude.
The contribution over the donations to the fund dedicated towards the construction of the grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya took centre stage in Karnataka once again on Saturday as Karnataka minister KS Eshwarappa targeted the opposition likening veteran Congress leader Siddaramaiah to the Popular Front of India (PFI).
“PFI tells people to not contribute (for Ram Temple) as it is on disputed land. Siddaramaiah says the same. They have the same opinion. There is no difference between Siddaramaiah and PFI. They are one,” Eshwarappa was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
PFI was launched in Kerala in 2006 after the National Development Front of Kerala, Karnataka Forum for Dignity and Manitha Neethi Pasari of Tamil Nadu merged. The three organisations were floated after the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992. Law enforcement agencies have claimed that the outfit has been radicalising Muslim youth following a growing vacuum in the community donning the role of a saviour.
Eshwarappa also said even the poor are contributing towards the temple's construction and criticised the Congress leader’s attitude. “Even the poor are giving ₹10 each (for Ram temple) out of devotion. Siddaramaiah says that it's disputed land, so he won't contribute,” he said.
Siddaramaiah on February 16 had said that he will not donate to the cause if volunteers approached him. “If they come to me for funds, then I will not give donations for the disputed Ram temple in Ayodhya. I will donate to the Ram temple being built somewhere else. Even though the matter has been settled, the dispute will always remain,” Siddaramaiah was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The Karnataka minister also drew comparisons between Siddaramaiah, a former chief minister, and JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy, saying that both the leaders are destroying their parties. Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah had led the government in Karnataka until 2019 when several MLAs joined BJP and defeated the Congress-JD(S) in a floor test in the assembly.
Kumaraswamy had compared the donation collection process to how Nazis used to target its dissidents of the Third Reich during the former German chancellor Adolf Hitler’s regime, who was responsible for the mass murder of several million Jews.
“It appears that those collecting donations for the construction of Ram Mandir have been separately marking the houses of those who paid money and those who did not. This is similar to what Nazis did in Germany during the regime of Hitler when lakhs of people lost their lives,” Kumaraswamy had said on February 15.
Shri Ramjanmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust’s general secretary, Champat Rai, had also criticised the former CM for his comments and said that the issue of construction of the Ram Temple should not be politicised.
Shri Ramjanmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust has been given the responsibility to oversee the construction of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. The Supreme Court in a unanimous verdict cleared the way for the construction of a Ram Temple at the contested site at Ayodhya on November 9, 2019.
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