In another move to please the community of priests after the withdrawal of the Chardham Devasthanam Council Act, the government of Uttarakhand reconstituted the Badrinath-Kedarnath temple committee under a new head to manage the affairs of the two Himalayan sanctuaries.
The move revives a body that controlled both temples before Chardham Devasthanam’s Council was legislated to the state assembly to control the affairs of 51 temples, including Char Dham.
It is seen as the state government’s message to the community of priests ahead of the next assembly ballots that it is committed to protecting their traditional rights to Himalayan temples.
BJP chief Ajendra Ajay has been appointed chairman of the committee, Kishor Panwar its vice chairman and BD Singh its chief executive, according to a notification issued by Culture Secretary HC Semwal.
In addition, there are 13 members in the committee.
Established by law during the chief ministry of Trivendra Singh Rawat, the Chardham Devasthanam Council was dismantled and the law that led to its creation was withdrawn in December due to prolonged unrest among priests.
Priests have always opposed the Devasthanam Council because they felt it violated their traditional rights to the temples.
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