Multi-crore corruption in Pandharpur’s Vitthal temple

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Unmesh Gujarathi
Sprouts Exclusive

According to the temple management officials, fake gold has been found in sacks in the Vitthal temple in Pandharpur, Maharashtra. But this information from the authorities is doubtful. Its previous officers have also embezzled crores of rupees before. In this case, too, the new officers have committed massive corruption of crores of rupees, not only that, but to hide this corruption, they have placed the innocent Warkaris in the cage of the accused.

The temple administration has given very false and misleading information that some devotees are deliberately putting fake ornaments in the temple at Pandharpur. They are trying to shake their hands from this case. There is a possibility that someone in the actual temple has stolen the real jewels and replaced them with fake jewels.

Malpractices by Temple Administration:

* Keeping the money accumulated in the donation box in a bag for two months without depositing it in the bank every day.

* Failure to maintain usage records of books of account and receipt books.

* Spending lakhs of rupees annually on cattle feed, But not showing the income from milk production.

* Selling temple cows to butchers.

* Expenditure exceeding Rs.48 lakh not audited by auditors.

* Taking the building of Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation on the lease; But due to the non-use of this building as expected, the temple suffered a loss of 47 lakh 97 thousand 716 rupees during the period from 2000 to 2010.

The temple of Vitthala at Pandharpur is well known. Due to this temple, Pandharpur has been considered the ‘Kashi of the South’. Every year nearly lakhs of warkaris and Vaishnavas visit the Vitthal temple here to have the darshan of Vithoba Mauli. Many of these pilgrims walk hundreds of kilometers every year with great devotion. The allegations leveled by the temple management authorities against these worshipers are very outrageous. Due to this, there is a wave of anger among the people. The Hindu Janajagruti Samiti has demanded that Chief Minister Eknath Shinde conduct a high-level inquiry into the matter.

The ornaments brought by the devotees to offer to Vitthal Mauli should be deposited at the counter by the administration. A full-time valuer should be appointed for gold verification of these ornaments. This will make it possible to verify the gold instantly. After that, it should be duly acknowledged. This will prevent the cheating of devotees and prevent corruption in the temple.

Sunil Ghanwat
State Convenor, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh,
Hindu Janajagruti Samiti.

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