The Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat has announced to free 51 temples and shrines including Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamunotri, and Gangotri from government control. In a statement he said "There will be a review on the decision of formation of Char Dham Devasthanam Board. State government's management over 51 prominent temples to be removed"
The decision comes after major temples protested against the state takeover and registered their protest with the CM and on the sidelines of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) endriya Margdarshak Mandal meeting held in Haridwar on Friday.
Governor Baby Rani Maurya gave her assent to the Char Dham Devsthanam Management Bill which was passed during the winter session of the Assembly. Justifying the passage of the new act, Trivendra Singh Rawat had said the new act will help in the professional management of the shrines. According to the act, the chief minister would be the board’s president, while a senior officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) will become the chief executive officer. The new law has the provision to sack a priest if he is found involved in any ‘wrongdoing’.
VHP Central Secretary General Milind Parande has welcomed the decision and said it is not the function of any government to control temples or interfere in the day-to-day affairs of its wealth or management.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy praised the state governments and called it a ‘responsive government in a democracy.’