Absence of Finance Minister in Ayodhya Deemed Tragic: PK Sekar Babu

Chennai: It was tragic that the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, despite holding the high position in government, did not go to Ayodhya to attend the consecration of the Ram temple but chose to go around Tamil Nadu to spread canards against the DMK government by trying to pick holes in the management of spiritual affairs in temples, State Minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR & CE), P K Sekar Babu said.

Speaking to the media after attending the consecration of the Arulmigu Prasana Venkatesa Perumal temple in Kotturpuram on Monday, the HR&CE Minister said that it was also regrettable that Governor R N Ravi had joined the league of BJP leaders in spreading lies about the State government.

Debunking Ravi's claim that ‘there was an all pervasive sense of invisible fear and apprehension writ large on the faces of priests and temple staff’ at the Kodandaramaswami temple in West Mambalam, Sekar Babu said that the priest would not have sat next to him in the temple if he was so frightened.

To the Governor’s message on X that when he visited the temple to offer prayers to Prabhu Sri Ram in the morning, the temple premises ‘exuded a sense of acute repression’ when the country was celebrating the Pran Pratishtha of Ram Lalla, Sekar Babu said that the temple priest had clarified to the media after Ravi left that they were not facing any intimidation and were allowed to function in a free manner.

The Minister said that the government gave due respect to all temple priests and that Ravi was also extended a red carpet welcome when he visited the temple and provided the facilities to offer worship freely, he added.

Listing out the various measures taken by the government for the welfare of temple priests and staff, he said that the DMK government had organized the consecration of 1290 temples since it took over and 20 consecrations, including that of five Vaishnavite temples, were held on Monday alone.

He accused Nirmala Sitharaman of viewing the functioning of temples in the State with a political lens and listed her visits to the Erikarai Raman temple in Madurantakam and the Kanchi Kamatchi Amman temple, where no restrictions were imposed on singing Ram bhajans, as instances that proved her lopsided approach.

She was there to pick on the functioning of the temples and besmirch the DMK government, accusing it of not catering to the spiritual needs of the people even though a free hand was given to the devotees to offer worship the way they liked, dispelling the rumours that the HR&CE department was preventing them from worshiping Lord Ram on the occasion of the opening of the temple in Ayodhya.

When the Madras High Court itself had acknowledged the good work of the HR&CE department in allowing the temples to function independently and even flayed the spreading of canards, he said Nirmala Sitharaman’s behavior was unbecoming of the high position that she held for she was out to bring disrepute to the DMK government through her lies.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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