Siddaramaiah demands accountability on Ram Mandir donations

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Bengaluru, Feb 20 (PTI) Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Saturday said he is having a Ramtemple constructed inhis village, as he urged those involved in collection of donations for the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya to be accountable to the people of the country, as it is public money.

Accusing the BJP of playing with the emotions of people in the name of god, the former Chief Minister said he too has faith in god, but for him beliefs are personal issues and should not be used as a political tool.

'.. there is nothingthat only those who have given the money should ask for accounts.

What I have said is, in the past too money and bricks were collected for Ram Mandir during Ayodhya agitation...

did they account for it?' Siddaramaiah said.

Speaking to reporters in Mysuru, he said, itissaid that Rs 1,500 crore has been collected so far, an account should be given, all 135 crore people might not have given, but it is public money.

'I'm not mentioning about any corruption, but an account has to be given.. they are accountable... if they don't give an account, doesn't it give rise to suspicion about misuse?' he asked, adding that those collecting donations are accountable to the people of the country.

He was responding to a BJP leaders' statements questioning who Siddaramaiah was to seek an account, when he has not given any donations.

Siddaramaiah had earlier in the week said that he will not give a donation to build Ram Mandir in Ayodhya since it will be built in a disputed place.

The Leader of Opposition in the state assembly accused theBJP of trying to gain sympathy as partof its propaganda inthe name of God.

People are giving money for Sri Rama and his temple, not for BJP, he said adding that 'there are Ram Mandirs everywhere, also in villages, not only in Ayodhya.. I also have a Ramtemple constructed in my village..the public have contributed to it.' PTI KSU ROH ROH