Ex-Cong MLA backs priests opposing Devasthanam Board

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Uttarkashi/Dehradun, Jun 30 (PTI) People will teach a lesson to the BJP’s “double engine” government, said former Congress MLA Vijay Pal Sajwan here on Wednesday while backing the priests opposing the Devasthanam Board.

The priests are demanding the dissolution of the board, which controls the management of 51 temples, including Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri shrines.

The Congress leader’s statement has come ahead of likely bypolls to the Gangotri Assembly seat amid speculations that Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat may contest from there as he is required to become an MLA within six months of being sworn in.

Lending his support to the agitating priests of Gangotri and Yamunotri, who have been sitting on a dharna in protest against the board, Sajwan said people of Gangotri will teach a lesson to the BJP.

'The Char Dham yatra has been closed for two years but the government has given no financial assistance to people whose livelihood is connected with the yatra. People will teach a lesson to the BJP's double engine government,' Sajwan said.

Congress sources believe the party will most probably field Sajwan from Gangotri.

Gopal Singh Rawat had wrested the seat from Sajwan in 2017, defeating him by 9,610 votes.

The seat fell vacant in April this year when Gopal Singh Rawat died after a long battle with cancer.

When contacted, Pradesh BJP media incharge Manveer Singh Chauhan said the chief minister may contest from Gangotri.

Though there was no discussion on the matter at the party's three-day “Chintan Shivir” that concluded in Ramnagar on Tuesday, the party is fully prepared for bypolls, he said. PTI CORR ALM RDK RDK

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