Thiruvananthapuram: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Saturday said the wealth unearthed from the vaults of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple here belonged to the deity and "evil forces" should not be allowed to grab it.
BJP`s national secretary and in-charge of the party in Kerala Muralidhar Rao, inaugurating the party`s state committee meeting here, said the temple has received national and international attention following the findings.
"The wealth in the temple was not generated through any kind of exploitation. All the valuables were the offering to the deity by the devotees," he said.
The BJP takes a stand that all the wealth found in the vaults belongs to Sree Padmanabhaswamy, the presiding deity of the temple, considering it as a juridical person, he said.
"Hence, there should not be any debate on the utilisation of wealth, considering it as a private property and kept at the temple itself," he said.
Praising the Travancore royal family for their integrity and devotion to their family deity, he said the rulers always knew of their riches, yet never touched them and ensured that the valuables remained safe and added to the collection over the centuries.
"Following the merger of the states, the Travancore king was accorded the title of Raja Pramukh. But, he preferred to be known as Padmanabha Dasa," he added.
The issue is presently being monitored by the Supreme Court, which has appointed a seven-member committee to make an inventory of the valuables in five of the six vaults.
Rubies, diamonds, gold statues and coins found in the five vaults opened so far have been unofficially estimated to be valued at over Rs.1 lakh crore (over $22 billion).