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Government mulls on monthly allowance for Hindu priests

Kolkata: State Backward Classes Welfare minister Rajib Banerjee on Friday said the government is considering the long pending demand of monthly honorarium for Hindu priests.

"The community of Hindu priests in the state is very big and a major chunk

of them suffer from acute financial stringency. So, I

feel that they should be given some sort of financial support from the government. I will take up the matter with Chief Minister

Mamata Banerjee and will try to meet their demand of monthly allowance as quickly as possible," Banerjee said addressing a gathering of West Bengal Sanatan Brahmin Trust at Rani Rashmoni Road in Friday.

The statement assumes significance as the Opposition has time and again accused the state government of appeasement politics in its offering of doles to Imams.

The Brahmin Trust has 1.83 lakh priests affiliated to

it and has demanded the allowance for around 35,000 poor priests who are over the age group of 50.

The minister said that he will place their nine-point demand to the Chief Minister and will gradually press for them.

He cautioned the priests against any attempts on the part of the BJP (without taking the party name) in creating divisions among them in the name of religion.

"We condemn those who politicise Sri Ram for the sake of politics and I will urge all of you to unite under one umbrella to unveil their real face before the people of the state," he added.

Sridhar Mishra general secretary of the Trust said that their demands

include the introduction of Sanskrit in state schools from Class V, take them under the aegis of Swastha Sathi, setting up of centres of Sanskrit

education at all districts etc.

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