Kerala

Chandy contests Pinarayi’s claim on Sabarimala

‘Chief Minister must furnish details of the expenses incurred on the development of the temple and premises’

Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Thursday contested Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s claim that his government had spent ₹1,273 crore for Sabarimala development, terming it “false and untrue”.

At a press meet here, Mr. Chandy said the LDF government had not utilised even the paltry budget allocation of ₹25 crore each in 2016-17 and 2017-18 and ₹28 crore in 2018-19.

It had spent only ₹47.4 crore in the last three years. The Finance Minister had announced in his budget speech that ₹739 crore, including ₹141.75 crore through the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board, would be spent this financial year. But no money had been spent under this head till date.

The LDF government failed to provide the ₹100 crore it had promised to help the Travancore Devaswom Board tide over the revenue loss from Sabarimala on account of the tense situation there last year, Mr. Chandy said.

NSS angle

Mr. Vijayan had been highlighting the government contribution to Sabarimala development to blunt the attack by the Nair Service Society, he said. Mr. Chandy asked the Chief Minister to publish the details of the amounts spend on the hill shrine by each department.

On the NSS support for UDF candidates, Mr. Chandy said the NSS had consistently sided with the faithful in the Sabarimala issue. The UDF’s stand was similar even before the Supreme Court verdict. There was a meeting of minds. The CPI(M) should have changed its position in the affidavit filed before the Supreme Court. However, the Chief Minister continued to maintain that there was no change in the government’s stand. The UDF benefited from this in the Lok Sabha elections. The bypoll outcome in Pala, he said, was an aberration, owing to the peculiar situation in that constituency.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 8:45:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/chandy-contests-pinarayis-claim-on-sabarimala/article29728803.ece

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