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No plan to take over Kanchi Mutt: TN govt

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Last updated on: January 15, 2005 22:11 IST

The Tamil Nadu government has no proposal to take over the Kanchi Mutt, a top state government official said on Saturday.

"There is no change in the government's policy announced by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in November 2004 that there is no plan with the government to take over the 2,500-year-old mutt," the official said.

The clarification comes in the midst of speculation that the government was planning to take over the mutt.

In Delhi, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Saturday upped Bharatiya Janata Party's Hindutva ante ahead of assembly polls in three states, vowing to oppose tooth and nail any attempt to 'control' the Kanchi Mutt even as other senior party leaders demanded the dismissal of the Tamil Nadu government.

Kick-starting the party's week-long campaign against the arrest of the two Shankaracharyas, Vajpayee told a gathering of party workers in Delhi that a conspiracy was underway to disrupt the pooja and install a third person as the head of the mutt.

"There is an attempt to wrest control of the mutt and violate its sanctity. This conspiracy is a challenge to society and we are accepting the challenge... We hope it (state government) will not commit such a stupidity, but if it is determined to commit injustice, we will peacefully respond to it and we should be ready for it...

"The direction and condition of the country will change with the Sun changing its direction this Sankranti. We cannot remain silent spectators. We have faith in the judiciary, society and in our strength. We neither commit injustice nor allow it. We cannot leave the Shankaracharyas in jail.

"The struggle has begun. Let the state government follow the rules but we will not bow before vendetta," he said.

The National Democratic Alliance chairman said the arrest of the two Shankaracharyas was not 'just another incident'.

In an apparent reference to the comparisons being made between the Shankaracharya's arrest and the non-arrest of the Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid, he said, "It is not a question of Hindus vs Muslims. Everyone has a right to freedom of religion. The state is secular and it cannot have one attitude towards one religion and another towards others."

Shankaracharya Controversy: Complete Coverage

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