Lucknow,Lalmani Verma (IE): Hindu organisation Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) has accused Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and its associate units of pocketing more than Rs 1,400 crore in cash and “quintals of gold bricks”, which were collected from across the world as donations for construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya. The charge has been vehemently denied by the VHP.
“According to the design that Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas and VHP leaders have prepared, the temple can be built by using only Rs 4 crore. There is anomaly in the use of donations that was collected for the temple’s construction. More than Rs 1,400 crore, apart from quintals of gold bricks, was collected as donation but VHP is claiming that the fund has been utilised in mere carving of stones,” said ABHM national spokesperson Devendra Pandey.
On behalf of ABHM, Pandey had written separate letters to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat, VHP patron Ashok Singhal, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing the VHP of misappropriation of funds.
Pandey said that while Singhal has replied to his letter and Bhagwat has acknowledged receiving it, he was yet to receive any communication from the Prime Minister or his office.
In his reply to Pandey, dated July 6, Singhal rubbished the ABHM’s allegations claiming that only Rs 8.25 crore was collected through donations in 1989 and the entire money has been spent on carving one lakh cubic foot stones for Ram temple at Karsevakpuram in Ayodhya.
Singhal also stated that the work of carving stones was stopped five years ago after the entire fund was utilised. The VHP patron said, in a recent meeting the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas has decided to seek another 1.25 lakh cubic foot of stones in donation and restart the carving work.
While Singhal was not available for comment, VHP national spokesperson Surendra Jain said “irresponsible people” have made such baseless allegations in the past, too. “Details of entire collection of donation and expenditure is available with the Nyas at Karsevakpuram workshop and any body can check it. Audit of these expenses is also done regularly and any anomaly is impossible,” Jain said.
In a meeting held at Mani Ram Das Chhawni in Ayodhya on June 16, where Singhal was also present, Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, which was formed to promote and oversee development of Ram temple, had decided to make an appeal to the devotees to donate stones. “Entire society is ready to contribute for the construction of the temple. We will soon start collection of stones,” Jain added.
VHP spokesperson in Ayodhya, Sharad Sharma said the work came to halt at the Karsevakpuram workshop in 2007 after supply of stone was stopped from Rajasthan. “But, a major quantity of stone arrived in 2010 and later carving work was started with a few artisans. This is continuing but we are yet to get stones as donation from devotees.”
First Published at The Indian Express