CM Stalin hits back at PM Modi for ‘encroachment’ of temples taunt against DMK regime

The chief minister, also president of the ruling DMK said a group of people was trying to gain political mileage by misusing spiritualism.

BySouth First Desk

Published Oct 06, 2023 | 12:04 PMUpdatedOct 06, 2023 | 1:16 PM

MK Stalin slams PM Modi on temples comment

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin categorically denied Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s allegation that the DMK regime has “encroached” temples in the state. He said the prime minister’s statement was a lie.

Addressing a meeting marking the culmination of the year-long celebration of the 200th birth anniversary of Saint Vallalar (1823-1874), Stalin, on Thursday, 5 October, said the reformist saint’s preaching was much relevant and the need of the hour.

Without naming anyone, the chief minister, also president of the ruling DMK, said a group of people was trying to gain political mileage by misusing spiritualism.

“However, the Tamil Nadu people are strong in reasoning and they can easily differentiate between politics and spiritualism. When some are attempting to confuse people, Vallalar’s wisdom is the key to addressing the matter,” Stalin said.

The chief minister said Modi alleged in his Telangana poll campaign speech two days ago that the DMK government “encroached” Hindu temples in Tamil Nadu and indulged in “irregularities” vis-a-vis the properties and income of the shrines.

“I categorically deny this allegation and convey my strong condemnation to the prime minister,” the chief minister added.

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What did Modi say?

On 3 October, addressing a public rally in Telangana, Modi said, “In South India, especially Tamil Nadu, the government has encroached on the temples.”

“They have encroached on temples, but haven’t touched the places of worship of the minorities,” the prime minister further said.

The prime minister was questioning the Opposition INDIA bloc’s slogan, “Jitni abadi, utna haq”— used in reference to the Bihar caste census.

“Will the allies of the Congress bring the places of worship of minorities under government control and use their properties for the public good as was done about the places of worship of Hindus,” he questioned.

He further asked whether the Congress and its allies would return the rights of control over temples, now controlled by governments, back to Hindus.

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‘What is wrong?’

Blaming a Tamil daily for publishing the “lie uttered by the prime minister,” Stalin demanded to know how Modi, holding responsible and high office in the nation, could level such a wrong and defamatory allegation. He also asked if it was fair to make such a comment in another state.

The chief minister wondered about the “necessity” for Modi to make such a comment and sought to know on whose behalf the prime minister spoke.

Stalin asked if the Tamil Nadu government retrieving over ₹3,500 crore worth of properties of temples (in the past two years after assuming office) in the state was wrong. “Please tell me, is this wrong? We have held consecration ceremonies for 1,000 temples; is this wrong?”

“Work is on, at a cost of ₹100 crore, to refurbish 112 historic temples that are 1,000 years old. Is this wrong,” he asked.

Also, renovation work of 5,078 temples — including 1,250 shrines in areas where Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) live — would be taken up in this financial year. “Is this wrong? What is wrong, according to the prime minister,” the chief minister sought to know.

The flaw is with the prime minister, and the DMK regime is committed to the common good and the goal of “everything for everyone”.

To mark such a vision, Stalin said the 17-acre new bus terminus, to be set up in Cuddalore, would be named after Vallalar. 

The Vallalar event was held by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the state government.

(With PTI inputs)