The petition also criticises 'gifts' and cash that KCR had sent to a dargah using the Minority Welfare Department's funds.

Activists drag KCR to court over public money being used for donating gold to templePTI
news News Saturday, February 25, 2017 - 17:37

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has been drawing flak for his offerings to gods and goddess using taxpayer money.

After much controversy, Dr Lubna Sarwath, an activist, has filed a petition with the Hyderabad High Court and has called the move by the Chief Minister "illegal and unconstitutional."

"I want to know who paid for the travel expenses of the officials and the chief minister’s family, who went with him for the 'thanksgiving trip' to Tirupati. We want a white paper with a list of all the expenses incurred from government funds in the form of offerings for religious purposes."

"The expenses for his family, relatives and ministers should be from their own pockets, and not from public money," she added.

Lubna argues that everyone is equal in a religious place and KCR shouldn't visit temples as a Chief Minister but as a common man. 

"Religion is a private affair and the state can't spend public funds to fulfil his personal vows,” she said.

The petition also quotes several Government Orders (GO) which also includes the 'gifts' and cash that KCR had sent to Ajmer Dargah using the funds of the Waqf Board and Minority Welfare Department.

"Around Rs 30 crore was spent on 'Dawat-e-Iftar' from the Minority Welfare Funds and Waqf funds. These funds should be used for the educational, health and housing needs of the poorer people of society," Lubna says.

"The guidelines for the Common Good Fund, from which KCR funded the gold ornaments, say that the fund should mainly be used for the temples who do not get enough donation, for maintenance," she adds.

Last week, KCR had offered gold ornaments worth Rs 5 crore to Lord Balaji and a nose-stud worth Rs 45,000 to Goddess Padmavathi, at Tirupati, from the state exchequer. 

Despite criticism, he continued his tour by presenting a gold moustache with more than Rs.60,000 to Lord Veerabhadra Swamy in Mahbubabad district from the state's coffers.

40 senior city-based activists have also signed Lubna's petition.

Last year, KCR had presented a 11.7kg gold crown worth over Rs 3 crore to Goddess Bhadrakali at Warangal, on the occasion of Durga Navratri.

In April 2016, he offered gold ornaments worth Rs 5 crore, also from the state exchequer to Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala.

In December 2015, KCR conducted a 'Ayutha Chandi Maha Yagam,' at his 120-acre farmhouse at Erravalli village in Telangana's Medak district, even as the state was reeling through a severe agrarian crisis.

 

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