High command asks CM to withdraw mutt bill

High command asks CM to withdraw mutt bill

The Siddaramaiah government made a hasty retreat on controversial Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Bill after the Congress high command asked it to go slow on the issue following opposition from party MPs and MLAs.

Apprehending revolt by major communities, the party brass asked the state government not to enact the legislation, sources said.

The high command was worried that the bill may antagonise the Lingayat community which has a sizable number of mutts, which also run a large number of educational institutions. The high command action followed complaints by several Congress MPs and MLAs to the party top brass.

Soon after the state government introduced the bill on the last day of the Assembly session at Belgaum, it is  learnt that many Congress MLAs and MPs received frantic calls from the religious heads, who expressed  anguish against the bill saying it was a “draconian” law.

In turn, these leaders asked the party high command to advice Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to defer the decision as it would boomerang on them, sources told Deccan Herald.

Some state leaders also alleged that certain decisions of the government appeared to target particular communities.“The party top brass wanted the state government to focus on better governance and shun controversies. With defeat staring Congress in the face in many states, the party is not ready to endanger the less than two-year-old Karnataka government”, said a party senior.

Controversial Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments (Amendment) Bill, 2014, which empowers the state government to take over mutts in certain instances, was passed by the assembly without discussion.

Riding high on the Narendra Modi wave, the BJP state unit is also desperately trying to use this as a weapon to target the government.

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