Speaking after inaugurating a guesthouse at Sri Suttur Kshetra near here, Mr. Siddaramaiah denied reports that his government was contemplating taking control of some prominent maths and appoint administrative officers for them.
He termed the accusations made against the government by the Opposition on the issue of religious maths baseless. “We respect religious institutions and their services to society,” Mr. Siddaramaiah said.
Taking a dig at the Opposition, the Chief Minister said, “They (Opposition) are creating confusion in the minds of the people by raising this issue which is not before the government at all. As they have no issues to target the government with, the BJP and the Janata Dal(S) are accusing us of planning to take over the maths which is untrue.”
Referring to the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa’s outburst on the same issue during his visit to Suttur for the Jatra Mahotsava recently, Mr. Siddaramaiah said: “People should speak only after coming to know of the facts.”
The Chief Minister said that the government takes suggestions from religious institutions which serve society in the fields of education, health and other areas. “Also, they (the maths) are providing free education to the poor. We appreciate their contribution,” he said.
He clarified that there was no proposal before the Union government to ban arecanut.
Referring to a draft bill on superstitious practices, he said that the draft of Karnataka Prevention of Superstitious Practices Bill 2013 had been submitted to the government and the government is studying it. “The issues highlighted in the draft bill are being discussed and debated. We are focussing on superstitious practices that cause harm to people and society,” he said.
However, the Chief Minister did not elaborate on the draft bill saying that the media may misinterpret his observations.
Applauding the services of the Suttur Math, he said that the Suttur Jatra Mahotsava facilitates better understanding among people from different regions and also educates people on the history and culture of the land.
Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra Swamiji of Suttur Math, Minister in-charge of Mysore district V. Srinivas Prasad, Public Works Minister H.C. Mahadevappa, Minister for Cooperation H.S. Mahadeva Prasad, MP R. Dhruvanarayan and MLA M.K. Somashekar were present.