On Monday, BJP members staged a protest in front of the mandapam located in Chennai’s West Mambalam, against the takeover of it by the HR&CE department.
The Madras High Court, on Tuesday, April 11, refused to stay the single judge order in the Ayodhya Mandapam case allowing the HR&CE department to take over the mandapam, and the case was adjourned to April 21. The court has further asked the department of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) to file a response in the case.
If the BJP tried to politicise a temple issue to strengthen the party, it would not succeed, Chief Minister M K Stalin said on Tuesday in the Tamil Nadu Assembly. Stalin, speaking on an issue raised by BJP MLA Vanathi Srinivasan, told her to concentrate more on issues that affected the poor people. If her party tried to unnecessarily ‘thrust politics’ on the matter, which is before a court, it would never succeed, the Chief Minister asserted after Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Minister P K Sekar Babu spoke on the matter.
On Monday, BJP members staged a protest in front of the mandapam located in West Mambalam, against the takeover of it by the HR&CE department. While the mandapam was run by Sri Ram Samaj, it was scheduled to be taken over by HR&CE through an order issued in 2013. Following the order dated December 31, 2013, a “Fit Person” was appointed for managing the affairs of the mandapam.
Meanwhile, the president of Sri Ram Samaj, claiming that it was not a temple, filed a plea challenging the HR&CE order. He had said that no idol was installed in the mandapam for worshipping but only portraits of Lord Ram, Sita and Hanuman were there and poojas were held. But HR&CE contended that it was a public temple and that there was a collection of offerings from the public through hundial.
The Madras High Court dismissed this plea onMarch 31. On Monday, when HR&CE officials came to take over the Mandapam, BJP cadres, including BJP councillor Uma Anandan staged a protest in front of the mandapam. Uma said that the HR&CE’s action was illegal because the Ayodhya Mandapam cannot be taken over, as it was not a temple.
The HR&CE department was established to streamline the administration of temples in the state, soon after the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act, 1951 was promulgated.
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The BJP members had also filed an appeal against the HC’s earlier order dismissing the plea. After hearing the plea, a bench of justices M Duraiswamy and TV Thamilselvi refused to stay the earlier order and also directed the HR&CE department to prevent any law and order issues from happening. Further, there is no problem with people visiting the Mandapam or regular activities being carried out.