Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami on Tuesday, 30 November, said that the administration had taken the decision to revoke the extremely opposed Char Dham Devasthanam Management Board Bill, news agency ANI reported.
"As all our pilgrim priests & other related workers continuously demanded the rollback of the Char Dham Devasthanam Management Board Bill, we have decided to repeal it today," he said, as per ANI.
"I urge everyone, who is protesting, to take back their agitation. I request all of them for it. Since we have withdrawn the Bill, we would like to tell everyone that the facilities that existed earlier, would continue as it is. If we do something for the betterment of these facilities in the future, then we will take them forward with everyone's cooperation," he added.
The decision was announced days after a state-constituted high-level committee submitted its final report on the matter to the CM in Rishikesh, News18 reported. However, the report's recommendations have not been made public yet.
The administration's decision assumes significance as it comes ahead of the Assembly elections in 2022.
'Teerth purohits', or pilgrimage priests have been agitating against Uttarakhand government's Char Dham Devasthanam Management Act since 2019, when the state's Legislative Assembly passed the bill.
The act sought to include Char Dham of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri, and 47 other temples under the purview of an autonomous, governmental shrine board.
Consequently, the Uttarakhand Char Dham Devasthanam Board was formed by the Trivendra Singh Rawat-led government in January 2020.
The panel consisted of the CM as its chairman, the state culture minister as Deputy Chairman, and the chief secretary as an ex-officio member.
However, the purohits and other workers affiliated with the Char Dham shrines and their temples have been consistently agitating against the law, saying that the government did not not consult them prior to the drafting of the legislation.
(With inputs from news agency ANI)