Karnataka Govt to withdraw bill on mutts

Karnataka Govt to withdraw bill on mutts

Facing resistance from Hindu seers and reservations within cabinet, Congress government in Karnataka today said it would withdraw a bill which religious mutts fear is an attempt to take over their institutions.

Developing cold feet as the bill raised a storm of controversy, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told reporters here "Now we are planning not to pursue with bill.We will take it back.."

The Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments (Amendment) Bill of 2014 was introduced in the Assembly during the session at Belagavi last week, amid stiff opposition from BJP which termed it as an attempt to interfere in the affairs of Hindu religious institutions.

The bill has raised the hackles of seers across the state who say it is needless interference and question why only Hindu religious institutions are being "targetted".

Siddaramaiah said the JDS-BJP coalition government in 2007 had given an undertaking to Supreme Court stating they would bring an amendment to the law, following which the bill was introduced. The bill was also recommended by a high powered committee headed by Rama Jois, a former Supreme Court judge who was also a BJP Rajya Sabha member.

"BJP is playing politics on this issue now, while they are the ones who had given such undertaking," he said.

"Now we are planning not to pursue with the bill....we will take it (bill) back; ....we will inform the court about it, the undertaking was given by the previous government...."

At the cabinet meeting yesterday, several ministers as also the Chief Minister himself, had reportedly expressed reservations about the bill.

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