BJP forced to change U'khand CM twice due to curse of priests: Temple body

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Uttarkashi, Jul 6 (PTI) The BJP had to replace its chief minister in Uttarakhand twice due to a 'curse' of priests as it failed to dissolve the Devasthanam Board, said the Gangotri Mandir Samiti on Tuesday.

The joint secretary of the temple body, Rajesh Semwal, said the BJP won’t be able to return to power in the state next year if it did not dissolve the board.

Constituted during the chief ministership of Trivendra Singh Rawat, the Devasthanam Board is mandated to run affairs of 51 temples in Uttarakhand.

The priests of the Gangotri and Yamunotri shrines are on a relay fast for several weeks, demanding dissolution of the board, which they see as an encroachment upon their rights.

'The BJP had to give three chief ministers in four-and-a half-years due to the curse of priests. If the party does not learn from the experience and its new chief minister does not dissolve the Devasthanam Board soon, the curse of priests will not let the party form government in 2022,' Semwal told reporters here.

Earlier, soon after taking over, former chief minister Tirath Singh Rawat had announced during the Kumbh Mela that the temples will be removed from the board's control and the decision to create the panel will also be reconsidered.

But Rawat had to step down last week before he could keep his word. He was replaced by Pushkar Singh Dhami. PTI CORR ALM RDK RDK

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