Kedarpuri reconstruction: Kedarnath priest alleges misuse of funds by U'khand govt

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modis visit to Kedarnath on November 5, a priest of the Himalayan temple has alleged misuse of government funds allocated for the Kedarpuri reconstruction projects by the BJP-led Uttarakhand dispensation.Brij Ballabh Bagwadi, who has been serving as a teerth purohit pilgrimage priest at the temple for the last 31 years, was seen levelling the allegations in a video in the presence of former Uttarakhand chief minister and Congress general secretary Harish Rawat.


PTI | Dehradun | Updated: 28-10-2021 16:08 IST | Created: 28-10-2021 16:08 IST
Kedarpuri reconstruction: Kedarnath priest alleges misuse of funds by U'khand govt
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Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Kedarnath on November 5, a priest of the Himalayan temple has alleged misuse of government funds allocated for the Kedarpuri reconstruction projects by the BJP-led Uttarakhand dispensation.

Brij Ballabh Bagwadi, who has been serving as a 'teerth purohit' (pilgrimage priest) at the temple for the last 31 years, was seen levelling the allegations in a video in the presence of former Uttarakhand chief minister and Congress general secretary Harish Rawat. The video was shot in Kedarnath when Rawat visited the temple on Tuesday.

When contacted on Thursday, Bagwadi alleged that the current dispensation has wasted billions of rupees by demolishing works done by the previous government led by Rawat, adding that the money wasted so far would have been enough to build another Kedarnath.

Targeting the state government over the allegations, the Uttarakhand Congress said that the current dispensation is only trying to put its stamp on the work done by the previous government.

The BJP, however, said that the whole world knows that everything done in Kedarnath is Prime Minister Narendra Modi's contribution.

Bagwadi claimed he has nothing to do with the Congress or the BJP and is only voicing his hurt feelings to ''unburden'' his heart.

A rest house built at a cost of crores of rupees by the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering at the helipad in Kedarnath was demolished just to expand the helipad, a riverside ghat built at an expense of Rs 20-21 crore was demolished just because its steps were not wide enough, and the Aastha Path fitted with solar lights was also destroyed and now something else is being constructed in its place, he claimed.

''The government has no plans. All development works are unfinished. The Centre is sending funds but the policymakers in the state have no clue as to what needs to be done. For them, Kedarnath has become a milch cow,'' Bagwadi said.

The 'teerth purohits' have raised these issues with the administration and the government several times but locals are not being given any importance, he alleged.

During his visit, PM Modi will unveil a statue of Adi Guru Shankaracharya and inaugurate and lay the foundation stones of reconstruction projects worth more than Rs 400 crore.

This will be Modi's second visit to the state within a month. The prime minister has been closely monitoring the Kedarpuri reconstruction projects.

Uttarakhand Congress president Ganesh Godiyal said he has been saying all along that the BJP government has done nothing new in Kedarnath.

''It has just changed a stone here and a tile there to put its stamp on the work done by the previous government and pass it off as its work,'' he said.

However, BJP's state media incharge Manveer Chauhan said, ''Everyone knows Kedarpuri reconstruction is Prime Minister Narendra Modi's dream project. The whole world knows that everything done in Kedarnath is the Prime Minister's contribution. The Congress did nothing.'' The portals of Kedarnath are scheduled to be closed for winter on November 6 on the occasion of Bhai Dooj.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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