New Delhi: JD-U chief Sharad Yadav on Wednesday demanded that the government should "take over" the large donations of famous temples in the country and use them for improvement of pilgrim places to boost religious tourism.
Yadav said the functioning of Waqf Board should also be strengthened in the same way.
Mentioning Padmanabha temple in Kerala and Mahalaxmi temple in Maharashtra, Yadav, who is also the convener of the NDA, said the value of assets in these temples are worth over thousands of crore.
"Money and gold found in these temples are the donations received from the public in large. Therefore, government should immediately take over these donations.
"All the money should be in the custody of Indian Government and be used for the improvement of all Hindu religion pilgrim places in the country to boost religious tourism," the JD-U chief said.
He said it will automatically give business opportunities and employment to many people.
Maintaining that God does not need money but desires the welfare of human beings, Yadav said, "this purpose can only be served if these treasures are taken over by the government".
He also cited the example of Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC), saying it has well maintained all the Sikh religious places in the country.
"Likewise, the donations of gold and cash offered by pilgrims in these temples should be used for the improvement of various Hindu religious places in the country".
Yadav noted that many of the Hindu religious places in the country are in bad condition and "pilgrims are put to lot of inconvenience during pilgrimage".
He said donations received in the religious places is public money and it should only be used for improving the infrastructure of the religious places so that people in large numbers can visit them conveniently.