Former Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat had to face the ire of teerth purohits in Kedarnath as he arrived at the Himalayan temple on Monday to offer prayers.
Angry with Rawat as the Chardham Devasthanam Board was created through a legislation during his chief ministership, the teerth purohits showed him black flags and shouted slogans against him, forcing him to return without having 'darshan' at the temple.
"Go back, go back," shouted the crowd of priests as the former chief minister walked towards the temple after getting down at the helipad at Kedarnath.
Realising that they were in no mood to relent, Rawat folded his hands and left as the angry priests continued hooting at him.
As Rawat turned to retrace his steps to the helipad with his head bent down, slogans like 'Trivendra Rawat murdabad and teerth-purohit ekta zindabad' rent the air.
The pilgrimage priests of the four Himalayan temples have been opposing the Chardham Devasthanam Board ever since it came into being during Rawat's tenure. They feel the board is an infringement of their traditional rights over the temples and have been demanding its dissolution.
Under the pressure of the priests, present chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami had to constitute a committee headed by Manohar Kant Dhyani to hear all sides and find a solution.
The panel has submitted its interim report to the state government.
The Chardham Devasthanam Board, which is chaired by the chief minister, controls the management of 51 temples in the state, including Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri.