Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for alleging that the DMK regime has “encroached” temples in the state and dismissed the accusation as a lie.
Addressing an event in Chennai on Thursday to mark the culmination of year-long events to mark the 200th birth anniversary of saint Vallalar (1823-1874), Stalin said the reformist saint’s preaching is the need of the hour.
Without naming anyone, the chief minister, also president of the ruling DMK said a group of people were trying to gain political mileage by misusing spiritualism. However, the Tamil Nadu people are strong in reasoning and they could easily differentiate between politics and spiritualism. When some are attempting to confuse people, Vallalar’s wisdom is the key to address the matter.
The chief minister said Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleged in his Telangana poll campaign two days ago that the DMK government has “encroached” Hindu temples in Tamil Nadu and indulged in “irregularities” vis-à-vis the properties and income of the shrines.
“I categorically deny this allegation and convey my strong condemnation to the Prime Minister.” Blaming a Tamil daily for publishing the “lie uttered by the Prime Minister,” he demanded to know how Narendra Modi, who holds a responsible and high office in the nation could level such a wrong and defamatory allegation.
Also, Stalin 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 Rs 3,500 crore worth 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 Rs 100 crore, to refurbish 112 historic temples that are 1,000 year old. “Is this wrong?” he asked.
Also, renovation work for 5,078 temples –including 1,250 shrines in areas where SCs and STs live and 1,250 village temples– are set to be taken up in this financial year alone. “Is this wrong? What is wrong according to the PM? he asked.