New Delhi, May 27 : The Congress has voiced concern over prolonged closure of small temples forcing many priests to go without wages during the lockdown.
“Due to lockdown small temples have been closed for more than two months. These temples mostly depend on offerings by worshippers. The ‘pujaris’ (priests) are now finding it difficult to make ends meet. The UP government should provide Rs 7,500 per temple so that ‘pooja’ can continue,” said Congress Working Committee member Jitin Prasada in a tweet.
“Who can better understand the problem of the ‘pujari’ than the Chief Minister (Yogi Adityanath) who himself heads a ‘Math’? This is even more surprising because the state government has a separate Ministry.”
He said his party colleague and former Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath too has made a similar demand, but the ruling BJP government in the state has done nothing. Uttar Pradesh should be the first state to start this provision immediately, said Prasada.
As per media reports, there are around 5,000 small temples apart from famous and historical temples in Uttar Pradesh.
Prasada said there can be curbs on mass worship, but regular ‘puja’ can be performed daily. He is planning to distribute ‘puja kit’ for small temples in his constituency of Dhaurahra and his home district Shahjahanpur. He has asked his party volunteers to prepare a list of temples in each village.