Tamil Nadu Minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE), P.K. Sekar Babu has challenged the former chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami to reveal the details of temple properties the AIADMK government had retrieved during their tenure.
In a statement on Tuesday, the HR&CE minister said that since the DMK had come to power in May, the government had retrieved temple land of 79.5 acres which was worth Rs 520 crore. The minister in the statement said that the government had made it public also.
Sekar Babu was responding to a statement of former chief minister Palaniswami that the AIADMK government had retrieved temple properties worth Rs 3,500 crore. The Tamil Nadu HR&CE minister called upon Palaniswami to reveal the details of the land retrieved.
He also asked as to why the AIADMK government had not acted on the complaints filed by officials of the Sivaganga Gowri Vinayagar Temple against encroachers. The minister said that the Palaniswami-led government did not stop the encroachment of 10 acres of land of this temple even after several complaints were lodged by the temple authorities as it was encroached upon by the relatives of an AIADMK minister.
The minister also ridiculed the claims of the former chief minister that the AIADMK government had regularized 2,000 contract labourers and daily wage employees and added that the AIADMK government had kept pending the file for regularising the jobs of 1,600 contract workers for six years without taking any action. He said that towards the fag end of the government, the EPS government made an announcement under Rule 110. This would shift the onus on the DMK government to regularize these contract workers. The minister said that the DMK government would soon regularize these workers and the orders would be issued by chief minister, M.K. Stalin.
The minister also asked the former chief minister to provide details of each and every inch of land retrieved from encroachers and not to make claims that the previous government has recovered 8,700 acres of temple land.
The Madras High Court has ordered to clear the discrepancies found in the temple land details of Tamil Nadu after two land surveys of 1985-86 and 2019-20 brought out a difference of 40,000 acres of land.