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Char Dham priests to opt for own poll candidates


DEHRADUN: Priests of Char Dham have decided to field their own candidates in the upcoming state Assembly elections in at least 15 constituencies in and around the four shrines — Kedaranath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. 

Char Dham Teerth-Purohit Hak Hakookdhari Mahapanchayat Samiti, which made the announcement, said the move is to protest against the Char Dham Devasthanam Board, the law enacted by the incumbent BJP government .

Krishna Kant Kotiyal, president of the Samiti, said, “We have decided to field our candidates. These seats will be in the vicinity of the Char Dham. We will tell people how the state government has encroached upon our centuries old traditional rights.”

Priests of the four shrines have been opposing the law framed to manage the four shrines and 51 temples associated with the shrines. Earlier this month, former CM Trivendra Singh Rawat was forced to return from Kedarnath by protesting priests, who raised slogans against him. During his tenure as CM this law was passed in 2019. The priests of the four Char Dham shrines are opposing the law, saying that it robs them of their traditional rights.