Hitting hard on the transparency of funds being mobilized for the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, former Karnataka Chief Minister has said that he would have contributed to the drive if the temple was constructed anywhere else but since the Hindu shrine for Lord Rama will be built on a disputed land he will not be a part of the donation.
Expressing his discontent, the Congress leader questioned, "These people have collected the money, but have they (RSS) furnished accounts?" further citing a past example that the donations had even then remained unaccounted for when bricks were being collected for the Ram temple earlier.
Unveiling 'Nazi tactics'
Siddaramaiah's remarks came just a day after another former state Chief Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) leader, HD Kumaraswamy, compared the situation to the time of Nazi Germany and said that the RSS is separately marking those houses who aren't contributing to the temple construction drive.
"It was understood that the fundraisers were marking the homes of the donors. Don't know why. During Hitler's time, Nazi-Jews were upset and millions of people died. Why thy trend is taking place in the country is not known," Kumaraswamy said in a tweet on Tuesday.
However, slamming the remarks made by Kumaraswamy, both the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party, has said that the JD(S) leader doesn't even check facts nor provide one before making such remarks.
Kumaraswamy's criticism comes at a time when the JD(S) and BJP are working closely in the state, with the latter supporting the former's pick for the Legislative Council Chairmanship and JD(S) not participating in by-polls.
In addition, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has also accused the Congress of compromising on their ideology after senior leaders like Digvijaya Singh announced donations for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
Even Shiv Sena has said that the Ram Janmabhoomi trust's fund campaign is an insult to Lord Ram as he was the 'King of Ayodhya'.
Biggest ever donation drive
Meanwhile, Swami Govind Dev Giri, treasurer of Shree Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, has informed the press that the trust has so far received over Rs 1,500 crore as donations in the first 27 days.
The drive to collect Samarpan Nidhi was launched on January 15 and it will continue till February 27, as per reports.
The VHP and RSS had set up over 150 teams of volunteers across the county to collect the funds. These people have been collecting funds through the receipt coupons of Rs 10, Rs 100, and Rs 1,000 respectively printed by the temple trust.
While several prominent leaders including President Ram Nath Kovind have also donated to the fund, the Trust has further claimed that approximately four lakh volunteers will cover nearly 55 crore people in five lakh villages in the country during the campaign.
The construction of the Ram Mandir has been a long-cherished dream of the BJP since the apex court of the country nearly two years ago pronounced a unanimous verdict and assigned the entire disputed area in Ayodhya to the Hindu parties.