Basavaraj Bommai
Outgoing Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai. File photo

Karnataka CM plans Bill to free Hindu temples of state control

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Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said his government is thinking of bringing a new law that relaxes state’s control on Hindu temples and religious institutions.

Speaking at the two-day state BJP executive committee meeting in Hubli on Wednesday (December 29), Bommai said the Karnataka government will introduce the Bill in the next Assembly session with an aim to keep only regulations and let temples manage their affairs and development activities.

“Hindu temples have suffered at the hands of bureaucracy for long. It won’t happen henceforth. The bill will be introduced in the next session to free our temples from state control. Temples will be allowed to manage their own affairs and function freely, and only regulations would remain,” Bommai said.

The Uttarakhand government too recently scrapped the Chardham Devasthanam Board, which manages the functioning of 51 temples, including Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri.

On the setback his government got in passing the anti-conversion bill in the Legislative Council, Bommai said he is confident the Bill will become a law and the state will set up a special task force to implement it.

Also read: No post permanent: Karnataka CM triggers rumours of exit

Recently, the Karnataka Assembly passed the Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021, which prohibits unlawful conversion from one religion to another by misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means.

The bill proposes for imprisonment from three to five years with a fine of Rs 25,000, while for violation of provisions with respect to minors, women, SC/ST, offenders will face a jail term of three to ten years and a fine of not less than Rs 50,000.

The Bill, however, could not get the Legislative Council’s nod.

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