Asserting that the country was observing “religious corruption” in the title of Lord Ram, ex-Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, who had earlier questioned the donation initiative for the formation of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, asked what was the guarantee that the money being gathered would surely reach the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) for the temple’s creation. He said the government was liable for “monitoring the collection drive”. “How do you account for the money that is collected on the streets?” he asked, after getting resentment from religious leaders, Ministers, and BJP leaders over his remark that the homes of those not offering were being marked.
“In this country, NGOs raising funds are accountable to the government. The donation drive could have been done online. These days, everyone has a bank account, including accounts opened under the Jan Dhan scheme. This could have prevented the sticking of labels on homes. Don’t you require guidelines for donation collection? There are no ID cards and you do not know who they are. What I have suggested to them is to have transparency in the collection. Have I insulted Lord Ram? It is you who have missed him,” he said. “I have not named the BJP or the VHP or any other organizations. All I suggested was to prevent the loot on the streets by individuals in the name of Lord Ram.”
Reemphasizing that neither he nor his party was against the donation initiative, he said, “Several members of the JD(S) have already donated. Even my family and I will donate if authorized persons approach us.” Mr. Kumaraswamy, who was recognized as going soft on the BJP in recent months, Wednesday sought the contribution of the NDA government directed by Narendra Modi in the past seven years. “What has been your contribution in seven years? To bring the price of petrol close to triple digits? Diesel will also get there in a couple of months. The LPG cylinder cost has gone up. The rights given to every citizen in the Constitution have been curtailed,” he said.
He also said that “In the past 70 years, the Indian economy has grown in phases, and you criticize those who have contributed to the growth. Freedom of speech is now taken away. Anyone speaking against the government is termed anti-national. This is an undeclared emergency.”