Addressing reporters on Monday, Sridharan, state president, Federation of All Associations of Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department, said that there are several doubts behind the functioning of Pon Manickavel as he is continuously involved in character assassination of the HR&CE officials.
“The public are fed a steady diet of misinformation to form a bad opinion on the entire HR&CE Department,” said Sridharan.
He also said that the objective of Hindu outfits such as RSS and Hindu Munnani is to take over the temples from the HR&CE Department and to bring them under their control. With the help of Pon Manickavel, the Hindu outfits are involved in maligning the image of the department and are trying to take control of the temples.
Speaking about the statue of Raja Raja Cholan, Sridharan said that the details of the statue were known during the reign of former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and a high level committee was formed to bring the statue. Though the committee held talks with the officials of Gujarat the statue was not returned but now the Gujarat officials returned the idol to Pon Manickavel. “There is a strong suspicion that the Hindu outfits would have worked in the background as BJP rule is going on in Gujarat,” said Sridharan.
He further dismissed the allegations of Pon Manickavel that 7,000 idols were replaced by duplicate idols. “From 1920 to 2017, 478 idols were stolen and out of them 56 were brought back. Even 28 idols were reinstated in the respective temples. Pon Manickavel is behaving like a politician and his statements are baseless,” said Sridharan.
Speaking about the recent arrest of HR&CE Additional Commissioner Kavitha, Sridharan said that Kavitha was a straight forward official and there was no complaint against her. She was included in the case the day before she was arrested only to malign her image, said Sridharan.