Uttarakhand Chief Minister Office announced on Saturday, September 11 that two priests each from 'Char Dham' temple in the state will be included in the high-level committee appointed under Devasthanam Board. The committee will also make a decision over Chardham’s pilgrimage and the process involved in it.
The decision to induct two priests from the temple was made after the state saw several protests from priests of various temples demanding the dissolution of the Uttarakhand Char Dham Devasthanam Management Board. Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Pushkar Singh Dhami earlier decided to meet the priests on Saturday. The priests were alleging that the Board is trying to diminish their earnings and over impose themselves on the working of the temples.
Earlier on August 17, several priest and temple committees of Uttarakhand Char Dham shrines had announced a state-wide protest against the delay in scrapping the Char Dham Devasthanam Board (CDDB), which was introduced by the state government in 2019. Apart from holding protests at the shrines of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri, the priest community and the religious heads of the area, they had also staged several protests in other district headquarters and state capital Dehradun as part of the state-wide agitation over the past month.
The issue became a political mess as the priests had also openly opposed every single local public representative who was in favour of the continuance of the Char Dham Devasthanam Board. The priests have been adamant on the immediate scrapping of the committee introduced by previous CM’s Trivendra Singh Rawat-led government. The priests have alleged that the state government is not concerned about the welfare of the priests and the functioning of the temples. They have lost their trust in the ruling party, who continuously say that they will come to a reasonable conclusion to the matter. However, the priests have held their position of not wanting to negotiate. The priests further say the board is just a way to interfere with the daily activities of the temples and they found it totally unfair. Earlier last month, to protest against the Devasthanam Board, more than twenty local priests associated with the BJP gave up their membership of the party.