Social activist and renowned writer Kancha Ilaiah on Friday filed a Public interest litigation against Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao for splurging crores of rupees on 'gifts' to deities. The Public Interest Litigation filed in the Hyderabad high court deems Telangana chief ministers gifting spree morally and constitutionally wrong.
Talking to OneIndia, Ilaiah said that while the state maintains that money was drawn from the endowments department and not from the budget, it would still account for being morally wrong and a violation of the constitution. "The money for the gifts to fulfil one individual's personal vow has been drawn from the 'common good fund' of the endowment department. The fund is raised by collecting 5 percent of revenues of temples with that have an income of more than Rs 50,000 per month. The fund should be used to improve smaller and poor temples. It is morally wrong to use this fund since it is supposed to be used to maintain smaller temples," he said.
Ilaiah added that Rao's gifting spree was also a violation of the Indian constitution. "Basic principle of secularism has been violated. Such gifting sprees have no space in the philosophical foundation of secularism that is present in the preamble of our constitution. The chief minister can't go temple hopping and shower gifts using the government's money," he said.
The Telangana government had issued a government order authorising costly gifts to deities of temples in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to fulfil a vow that K Chandrasekhar Rao had taken for the creation of Telangana. Rao had recently spent Rs 56 crore for gold ornaments to Lord Balaji of Tirumala, goddess Padmavathi and Veerabhadra Swamy temples.