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"Allegations misrepresented": Karnataka CM hits back at BJP amid row over 10 per cent tax on temples

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Benegaluru (Karnataka) | February 22, 2024 7:56:07 PM IST
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that the allegations regarding the Karnataka government's amendments to the Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowment Bill "appear to be misrepresented", "aiming only at misleading the public" and "polarizing people along communal lines for political leverage."

The Bill mandates the state to collect 10 per cent tax from temples generating revenue exceeding Rs 1 crore and 5 per cent from shrines with revenue of between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1 crore.

Accusing the BJP of misleading the public, Karnataka CM said in a series of long tweets, "The allegations regarding the Karnataka government's amendments to the Hindu Religious appear to be misrepresented for political gain".

https://x.com/siddaramaiah/status/1760620354987606182?s=20

Karnataka CM further said in his post that there has always been a mandate to create a common pool since the enactment of the Act in 1997.

"After the amendment, the contributions to the fund will come from (i) ten percent of the net income of institutions whose gross annual income exceeds one crore rupees; (ii) five percent of the net income of institutions whose gross annual income exceeds ten lakhs rupees but does not exceed one crore rupees; and (iii) grants received from the State Government. The recent amendment was made solely to enhance the amount of the common pool," Karnataka CM added in his post.

He alleged that the BJP leaders want the youth of the country to abandon their jobs and fight an imaginary war, solely to benefit the BJP politically.

"The baseless allegations by BJP leaders are aimed only at misleading the public and polarizing people along communal lines for political leverage. BJP leaders should be ashamed of their unethical practices. Their disservice to the people of Karnataka will never be forgiven. By misleading the public, BJP leaders want the youth of the country to abandon their jobs and fight an imaginary war, solely to benefit the BJP politically," aleged Karnataka CM.

Hitting back at the state BJP unit chief, BY Vijayendra, for dubbing the Karnataka government as being "anti-hindu" for implementing such policies, Karnataka CM said, "It is clear that the @BJP4Karnatakahas reserved their State President post for those who are inclined to lie. @BYVijayendra seems to be a good fit for the post, or perhaps he is competing with other BJP leaders to retain it. Shame on Vijayendra! His credibility as a leader is plummeting, much like the Indian Rupee under Narendra Modi".

Weighing in on the draft legislation on Thursday, Chandrasekhar told ANI that the Bill was brought to fill the 'ATM' of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his deputy DK Shivakumar.

The BJP leader said, "While Rahul Gandhi is holding a Bharat Jodo Yatra in the country, the Congress government in Karnataka has brought the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments (Amendment) Bill, 2024 in the assembly to fund the ATM of Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar. This marks a new low of appeasement politics. We will oppose this Bill." (ANI)

 
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