Hindutva agenda behind BJP govt decision: Ajay

Bhopal: Leader of Opposition in Madhya Pradesh Assembly, Ajay Singh here today said that it appears that there is an "Hindutva agenda" behind the decision of the BJP government to give subsidy to people in the state to visit certain religious places in foreign countries.

"It appears that there must be an Hindutva agenda behind giving subsidy to people visiting some religious places belonging to a particular community," Ajay told PTI.

"If at all the state government wanted to subsidise such religious visits then it should do it for all the communities of the society," he said. He also said that it would have been better if instead of giving subsidy for such visits, the government could have spent the money on the renovation of dilapidated temples and other religious places of the state.

The state government has on Thursday expanded the subsidy scheme for pilgrimage to places of religious importance situated in Sri Lanka (Sita Mata Temple and Cambodia (Angkor Wat Temple), official sources said. Such provisions are already in place for pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar (China-Tibet), Hinglaj Mata Mandir and Nankana Saheb (both in Pakistan).

The State Government will now provide 50 per cent subsidy on expenses (maximum Rs 30,000) to the state`s citizens for the journey to pilgrim centres in Sri Lanka and Cambodia.

Six years ago, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had taken the initiative for providing financial assistance to citizens of the state for pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar.

A beneficiary pilgrim has to make claim for reimbursement within 60 days after the journey to Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (MPTDC) along with details of expenses.

Under the scheme, a domicile of Madhya Pradesh is eligible to avail this subsidy once in lifetime. Later in 2007-08, the State Government has also introduced the provision of providing subsidy for pilgrimage to Hinglaj Mata Mandir and Nankana Saheb situated in Pakistan.

A person desirous of pilgrimage to Sita Mandir (Sri Lanka) and Angkor Wat (Cambodia) will have to apply to MPTDC, Bhopal for getting subsidy within sixty days after visiting the place temples at the above-mentioned countries.