Mumbai, Jan 29 : Questioning the manner in which funds are being collected door-to-door for the Ram Temple construction in Ayodhya, the Maharashtra Congress on Friday warned that it may be ‘swindled’ off by the unscrupulous elements.
“Given the background of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the money collected in the name of Lord Ram may be siphoned off by its activists for their personal use instead of the Ayodhya Temple,” said Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant.
Addressing a media conference, Sawant said that earlier the BJP and its affiliates have already raised huge amounts for the Ram Temple, but no accounts have been given about it yet.
Besides, urging the masses to take adequate precautions before donating money out of devotion for Lord Ram, he also called upon the Maharashtra government to enquire and verify if the funds collected from the state go for the intended purpose.
“The Nirmohi Akhada, which fought the Ram Temple cause for many years, had accused the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of looting Rs 1,400 crore. In 2015, the All India Hindu Mahasabha (AIHM) had charged VHP with embezzling Rs 1,400 crore plus several quintals of gold and a complaint was lodged with the Prime Minister’s Office on August 4, 2017,” said Sawant.
Earlier this month (January, 2021), the AIHM Pramod Pandit Joshi had slammed the BJP’s fund-raising drive for building the temple, which “was a just a political ploy and a money-making programme for the BJP, and even the monies collected in the past 3 decades is not yet accounted”, claimed the Congress leader.
Referring to similar other incidents, Sawant said that in September 2020, Rs 600,000 was withdrawn through a clone cheque from the Ram Janmabhoomi Trust and complaint was lodged in Ayodhya against a Delhi youth in April 2020 for floating a fake website to collect funds.
Similar complaints have been filed by Shri Ram Mandir Nirman Samarpan Nidhi Samiti in Moradabad against four persons for collecting funds by issuing fake receipts and 5 people were booked in Pilibhit for seeking donations through a fraudulent organization and other examples, said the Congress Spokesperson.
Joshi had even warned that if the BJP and its affiliates raised money without making the collections public, he would approach the courts, while a RSS-linked news portal had even issued a list of 13 UPI embezzlers warning people to be careful against dealing with them and a Surat man was nabbed last fortnight for a similar unauthorized fund collection, Sawant added.
“Against such a background, a large number of devotes of Lord Ram are giving money to the BJP-RSS in Maharashtra It must be ensured that the collected funds actually reach the genuine Ram Temple Trust and are not siphoned off mid-way,” Sawant urged.