Shiv Sena’s ruling partner in the Maha Vikas Aghadi, the Congress party on Friday lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), saying that the fund collection in the name of the construction of Ram Mandir is its business. “The initiative taken by BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in raising funds is likely to rob the public. The people should take care that the hard-earned money of the devotees goes to the Ram Mandir Trust. Cash can be embezzled. The state government should investigate the funds raised by the BJP or the RSS so that devotees in the state are not cheated,” said the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee spokesman Sachin Sawant.
Sawant said the fundraising for the construction of Ram Mandir is in full swing by BJP, but reiterated that it is a matter of serious concern with the involvement of BJP and RSS activists in it. He claimed that the BJP had used the Ram Mandir issue to do politics over the years.
Sawant’s move to target BJP comes days after the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in coordination with Shree Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust started off the massive one-and-a-half-month-long donation drive on January 15 from Ayodhya to raise funds for the construction of Ram Mandir. The donation drive was started simultaneously from 400 locations.
Further, Sawant pointed out that Nirmohi Akhada had alleged that VHP had embezzled Rs 1,400 crore and several quintals of gold were looted. “The Hindu Mahasabha had demanded an inquiry from the Prime Minister's Office. The inquiry has been pending since 2017. On January 4, 2021, the Hindu Mahasabha had said that the BJP should not raise funds, as it never wanted a Ram Mandir there. The BJP has given details related to the fund collection done in the last three decades,” he noted.
He further noted that the Hindu Mahasabha has warned to approach the court.
Meanwhile, leader of opposition in the state assembly Devendra Fadnavis has donated over Rs 1 lakh for the construction of the Ram Temple. He handed over a sum of Rs 1,00,001 to Swami Govind Dev Giriji Maharaj, the Treasurer of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra trust.