VHP readies to nix UP govt’s plan to take over Banke Bihari temple

1044753_504369819636988_853329091_nNov 29, 2015, Agra: In a bid to shed its pro-Muslim image and project itself as a “true secular party” to attract majority Hindus in the 2017 assembly polls, the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh is initiating process to take control and develop the famous Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan.
According to sources, a draft of this proposal is expected to be get the cabinet nod on December 1 which will later be passed in the next legislative session.
However, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists and the temple’s priests have raised a banner of revolt against any such move and have threatened to move court if such a proposal was brought.

Built in 1860, the Baanke Bihari temple receives lakhs of people every year, mainly around Janmashtami. A classic example of Rajasthani architecture, the three-storied temple has arches and pillars which give it a distinctive look. It is said that the image of Banke Bihari was discovered by one Swami Haridas, the great Krishna devotee belonging to the Nimbarka sect.

Vrindavan VHP head Saurabh Gaur said, “The state government has no love for Hindus or their shrines. If they had, they would have supported us to build Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. They don’t even have any love or concern for the tourists, otherwise they would have built better roads and provided better facilities in Vrindavan rather just initiating proceedings to take over the temple. It’s clear that they are after Hindus’ money which they will spend to organize free Haj for Muslim to lure votes during elections.”

Ashish Goswami, one of the temple priests, said that the state government has its eyes on the huge money that is being donated to the temple by the devotees every year.
As per an unofficial estimation, Banke Bihari temple receives donation of over Rs 7 to 10 crore every year.

Senior member of Banke Bihari Temple Committee Nand Kishore Upmanyu said, “We are taking care of both trade and tradition here. We are abiding by rules too. Why does the government then need to take over the temple? We will not let this happen and will go to court if needed.”
According to reports, the Samajwadi Party government has decided to take control and develop Banke Bihari in Vrindavan and Vindhyanchal temple in Mirzapur. In August, principal secretary (religious affairs) Navneet Sehgal had said there have been serious complaints of irregularities at BankeBihari as the pilgrims are often duped by ‘pandas’ and deprived of basic facilities due to which the government wanted to take over the shrine.

Source: The Times of India