Temple Committee in Fix Over Gupta Brothers’ Offer of Gold-Plated Sanctum Roof

The Badri Kedar Temple Committee wrote to the Uttarakhand government, asking them to seek advice from the Enforcement Directorate about a donation offer from the Gupta brothers.


The Badri Kedar Temple Committee (BKTC) on May 6 wrote to the Uttarakhand government, asking it to seek advice from the Enforcement Directorate (ED), and direct it over an offer made by the Gupta brothers, who are involved in a large-scale financial scandal in South Africa, the Times of India reported.

The BKTC received an offer in May 2017 from an unknown donor to replace the bronze-plated roof of the garbha gruha (inner sanctum) but the temple committee found out on May 4, 2018 that the interested donors were the Gupta brothers, following which they wrote to the state government.

“There is no controversy linked to the matter. Any donation is taken as per the rules and regulations of the temple. When the offer was made no one knew about the Gupta brothers and there were no charges against them in May last year,” BKTC president Ganesh Godiyal told the publication.

“Heading the BKTC, it was my duty to bring the issue to the knowledge of the state government and we will follow whatever instructions are given to us,” said Godiyal, who was a Congress legislator from Srinagar constituency of Pauri district from 2012 to 2017.

In November 2017, the temple committee took the decision to accept the offer to gold plate the roof of the temple but the revelation on May 4, 2018 has stalled the process as the Gupta brothers are embroiled in investigations in two countries.

They have been involved in a political scandal in South Africa that led to the downfall of former President Jacob Zuma and his many associates who were said to be  close to the Uttar Pradesh-born businessmen.

The three brothers — Ajay, Atul and Rajesh — allegedly captured huge stretches of land and influenced Cabinet appointments and state-owned companies in South Africa by using their proximity with Zuma.

In March 2018, the Indian Income Tax department carried out multiple raids at properties in Saharanpur and Dehradun owned by the Gupta brothers. The I-T department feared that the Gupta brothers would try to funnel their illegal wealth to India.

“There was a specific intelligence input about the large-scale construction of a Shiva temple by the Gupta brothers that is going on in Saharanpur. The temple is spread on a huge piece of land and an investment of over Rs 100 crore has been made in the project. Our probe is to find the source of the money and scan through transactions of the company which is building the project in Saharanpur,” Amrendra Kumar, principle director, I-T investigation wing, told the Times of India in March 2018.

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