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BJP Slams K’taka Government’s Decision to Impose 10 Percent Tax on Temples

BJP Slams K'taka Government's Decision to Impose 10 Percent Tax on Temples
Photo: Swarajya

The Bharatiya Janata Party has accused the Congress government in Karnataka of being “anti-Hindu” following the passage of the ‘Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Bill 2024’ in the state assembly on Wednesday.

According to the bill, the government will collect 10% tax from temples with revenues exceeding ₹1 crore and 5% tax from those with revenues ranging between ₹10 lakh and ₹1 crore.

Vijayendra Yediyurappa, the Karnataka BJP president, stated that the Congress government is trying to fill its coffers through policies that target Hindu institutions.

“The Congress government, which consistently adopts anti-Hindu policies in the state, has now turned its attention to the revenue of Hindu temples and passed the Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments bill to refill its empty coffers,” he said on X.

He also expressed concern about the allocation of the collected funds, stating, “These funds, which are collected from temples earning over ₹1 crore, should be used for the renovation of the temple and the well-being of the devotees. If they are used for other purposes, it is a violation of people’s religious beliefs. It will lead to unrest and deception.”

Yediyurappa questioned why only Hindu temples are being targeted and not temples of other religions.

In response, Karnataka minister Ramalinga Reddy accused the BJP of politicizing religion. He argued that the Congress is the true supporter of Hinduism.

“Mr. Vijayendra Yediyurappa, it is evident that the BJP always seeks political advantage by claiming that Congress is anti-Hindu. However, we, the Congress, consider ourselves true supporters of Hinduism because over the years, Congress governments have consistently protected temples and Hindu interests,” he said.

“Did your BJP government neglect its responsibilities between 2008 and 2013, as well as from 2019 to 2023? It seems they ignored the revenues of Hindu religious institutions and charitable endowments, despite the existence of acts or bills since 2001,” he added.

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