Staff Reporter

ALAPPUZHA: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) State president P.K. Krishna Das said at a press conference here on Thursday that the Governor return the Devaswom ordinance approved by the Cabinet without signing it as the ordinance was anti-democratic and against the ideals of secularism.

Mr. Krishna Das said the proposed ordinance would take away the power of the Kerala High Court to oversee the auditing of the Devaswom Boards.

Corroborating his arguments, Mr. Krishna Das said there was no need to issue an ordinance when the State Assembly was about to meet.

He said the BJP was not against amending the Devaswom Act and that it should be discussed in the Assembly.

Seek opinion

The Government should also seek the opinion of Hindu organisations and initiate amendments considering their opinion, he added. The BJP president alleged that the Government intended to control the administration of the temples.

"The administration of places of worship of Christian and Muslim communities in the State is performed by believers of the religion. The Government has no right to bring the administration of Hindu temples under its control," he said.

He termed the move as a blatant violation of secularist ideals upheld by the Constitution. Mr. Krishna Das said the Government should hand over the control of the temples to the believers.

Mr. Krishna Das said two study reports submitted by committees appointed by the previous Government on Devaswom administration were with the Government and it should have incorporated the recommendations into the ordinance.

The BJP president said the revelations of RAW director Hormese Tharakan on the internal security situation in the State was shocking.

He demanded that the police conduct special raids on extremist hideouts in the State, especially in Malappuram district.

Mr. Krishna Das said: "by equating National Development Front (NDF) with the RSS, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan has whitewashed religious extremism." He demanded that the Government inquire into the funding of the NDF.

Mr. Krishna Das said the observation of Mr. Tharakan that ISI was active in the State was serious.

BJP State secretary Radhakrishna Menon and district president K.S. Rajan were present at the press conference.