'We Are Helping Temples', Karnataka Minister Accuses BJP Of Misleading People On Temple Tax Bill

'We Are Helping Temples', Karnataka Minister Accuses BJP Of Misleading People On Temple Tax Bill

While speaking to media, Dinesh Gundu said, "The BJP should realise that what we are doing is actually for the benefit of temples. We amended the Act. Temples which were earning more than Rs 25 Lakhs were being charged 10% earlier. Even when the BJP Govt was there, the same 10% was being taken by the Muzrai Department."

Rahul MUpdated: Friday, February 23, 2024, 08:43 AM IST
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Karnataka Minister Dinesh Gundu | ANI

Karnataka Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao on Thursday defended the state government on 'anti-Hindu' accusations lebelled the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). Accusing the BJP of misleading people, minister said during BJP government smaller temples were made to pay more money.

While speaking to the media, Dinesh Gundu said, "The BJP should realise that what we are doing is actually for the benefit of temples. We amended the Act. Temples which were earning more than Rs 25 Lakhs were being charged 10% earlier. Even when the BJP Govt was there, the same 10% was being taken by the Muzrai Department."

"Now, we have actually taken up the slab and gone to Rs 1 Crore and above. We are, in fact, helping the smaller temples. BJP is trying to mislead the people. This money is going to be used for smaller temples so that we can develop those temples...", he added.

What changes after passage of Bill?

Karnataka government on Thursday cleared 'Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Bill 2024' that empowers the govt to collect 10% tax from temples that have revenues exceeding Rs 1 crore & 5% from those with revenues ranging between Rs 10 lakh & Rs 1 crore.

After Congress-ruled Karnata government cleared the Bill, Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekha criticised the government move saying the draft resolution marked a 'new low' in 'appeasement politics'.

Bill was brought to fill the 'ATM' of CM: Union Minister

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.

In a personalised video message on Thursday, 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." Condemning the draft legislation, the BJP termed it 'anti-Hindu'.

The party's state chief and son of former chief minister and Lingayat stalwart BS Yediyurappa, BY Vijayendra, alleged that the Bill was part of a ploy by the Congress government to siphon off donations to temples in the name of taxes to fill its dwindling coffers.

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