Mysuru: Karnataka Assembly’s Leader of Opposition, Siddaramaiah on Saturday said that not only he but everyone has the right to demand to know how the fund collected in the name of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya is going to used.
He said they also can demand to know how much was being collected, irrespective of whether they contributed or not to the ongoing fundraising campaign launched by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to build a grand Ram Temple in the Uttar Pradesh temple town.
Siddaramaiah told reporters: “I have no problem if one builds a Ram Temple or not. But as a citizen of this country, I have every right to demand an explanation from anyone who collects funds by launching a nationwide fund raising campaign,” he said.
The Leader of Opposition said that the same VHP had collected funds from people even in the early 1990s that is when the BJP launched its Rath Yatra to oppose implementing the Mandal Commission.
“That was when Mandal vs Kamandal politics began to take shape in this country. The VHP had collected funds for building Ram Temple. That organisation has not come out with any details about its then campaign as well.
“Let them come out with information about that fund and as well as about the present day fund collection. This being a national campaign, we should not allow them to go ‘unquestioned’,” he said.
He countered why the BJP leaders or VHP leaders are getting upset if their conscience is clear?
“If they are free and fair in collecting funds, let them show how much they have collected, for what all purpose they used and how much is required to build the temple,” he said and added that these questions are not against Ram Temple but these questions are pointed at those who are collecting funds.
“The BJP and VHP are making an all-out effort to hide these facts under the garb of Ram Temple. I have not opposed Ram Temple but I am raising questions about BJP and VHP’s intentions.
“For this I do not have to be under anyone’s mercy. I am a citizen of this country, I will continue to raise these fundamental questions as long as BJP and VHP play their dirty tricks,” he retorted.
Answering a question, he said that he would not like to contribute to the VHP but he would rather be happy in building Ram Temple in his village — Siddaramanahundi — where he was born.
“Ram Temple is not an unknown thing for our rural folks. In every village or hamlet one can see Ram temple. Ram is all pervasive, so I am happy to see him in my village than elsewhere. I will build a temple here along with people’s contribution. It may not be as big as their’s but this is built out of pure devotion,” he retorted.