AMARAVATI: TDP National President and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Saturday accused Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy of posing multiple threats to the assets and idols of the temples with utter disrespect for the sentiments of the Hindu devotees in the State.
Mr. Naidu said that the Chief Minister has turned out to be a ‘betrayer of Hindus’ as not a single accused person was arrested so far in over 127 attacks that were made on temples, idols and priests in the past 19 months. ‘Jagan Reddy may be a Christian. But thinking to use power for converting Hindus is wrong. If people in power resort to religious conversions, it amounts to betrayal.’
The TDP chief visited Ramatheertham near Vizianagaram where he enquired from the local leaders and the priests about the beheading of the 400-year old statue of Lord Rama at Kodandarama Temple there.
Later, addressing a well-attended public meeting, Mr. Chandrababu Naidu said that he would usually stick to secular statements but could not spare Jaganmohan Reddy considering his utter disregard for the sentiments of other religions and their traditions. One should not show such religious intolerance. ‘Jai Shriram’ slogan was currently resounding in Ayodhya Rama Temple. Similarly, Ramatheertham Rama Temple has always been held in high respect in North Andhra. In such a temple, miscreants beheaded Rama statue but the Government was not taking any steps to catch the culprits.
Mr. Naidu demanded the CM to explain why he had not visited Ramatheertham to express solidarity with the Hindu devotees whose sentiments were badly hurt. Jaganmohan Reddy had his own personal religious sentiments. He would keep the Bible by his side during his swearing in. His palatial residence at Lotus Pond would carry a Cross image on it. But, it appeared that the CM was thinking that the Hindus would not deserve similar sentiments. He should realise that beheading of Rama statue was a great disgrace to the land.
Stating that all major temples came under attack, Mr. Naidu said that the ruling party middlemen had brought disrepute to Tirumala Temple with their mean and illegal activities. A YCP MLA would fly drones over the Tirumala sky where such an activity was banned. The ruling party leaders had brought in the culture of liquor drinking and meat eating also atop the Seven Hills. The Chief Minister himself would violate the traditions by not bringing his wife during the sacred clothes presentation to the Lord.
The TDP chief deplored that lands and assets were donated to temples for the sake of protecting the Hindu dharma. The Gajapathi Raju family donated 12,000 acres for Simhachalam temple and those lands were worth Rs. 5 Cr to Rs 10 Cr per acre now. The YCP leaders had set their sights on these lands. This was why Ashok Gajapthi Raju, who was known for his honesty and credibility, was removed from the Chairman post. The Jagan regime was busy with the twin tasks of desecrating temples and looting their assets.
Mr. Naidu told the CM that his Government had no right to take away the lands that Hindu devotees donated to the temples over the centuries. The police were behaving irresponsibly and they were filing false cases. Once the TDP would come to power, all these cases would reopened and stringent punishment would be given to the erring police. Even in respect of Ramatheertham idol beheading incident, the police acted highhandedly and allowed only MP Vijay Sai Reddy into the temple but not the priests.
Earlier, Mr. Naidu held a spontaneous dharna and squatted on the road in protest against the police for creating hurdles to block the TDP leaders’ visit to Ramatheertham temple. He lashed out at the police for parking the lorries in the middle of the road to prevent the Opposition leaders’ visit. The TDP chief refused to stop the protest until the TDP leaders’ convoy was allowed to go to Ramatheertham. After the police cleared the way, the TDP chief arrived at the temple premises along with the party leaders.
Accompanied by senior party leaders, Mr. Naidu went to the hilltop temple by taking the steps. The TDP has been protesting against the unfortunate incident in which a 400-year-old statue of Lord Rama was beheaded at the centuries-old Kodandarama Temple at Ramatheertham. Mr. Naidu went to the hilltop temple premises and visited the area where Rama idol was beheaded and desecrated.
The TDP leaders accused YCP MP Vijay Sai Reddy of making an unplanned visit ahead of Mr. Naidu only to create tensions in Ramatheertham area. This reflected the factionist mentality of the ruling YCP which has been suppressing the fundamental rights of all sections from the beginning. The police stopped obstructing the convoy only after the TDP chief stepped out and began his dharna in the middle of the road.
Earlier, Mr. Naidu demanded the Chief Minister to break his silence on why his Government could not catch a single accused person even after 125 attacks took place on temples and idols. Desecration and disfigurement of Hindu idols was taking place in AP like in no other State in the country before. If the police arrested and punished the accused in the initial acts of vandalism, the Hindu dharma would not have come under such a severe attack like this.
TDP AP President K. Atchannaidu asked why Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy broke his promise on ordering the CBI enquiry into the Antarvedi temple chariot burning. The YCP leaders were only interested in the sale of the TTD properties and the precious lands of the MANSAS Trust. The Chief Minister was trying to perpetuate his unjust and unfair regime by dividing the people along caste and communal lines.
TDP Politburo Member Varla Ramaiah termed it as a failure on the part of DGP Gautam Sawang for not preventing Vijay Sai Reddy and YCP leaders from creating disturbances during the Naidu tour. Instead of doing their duty, the police connived with the YCP leaders to create hurdles for the convoy of the Opposition Leader of AP. The DGP would have take sole responsibility for the untoward incidents that took place at Ramatheertham.
The TDP leaders said that the miscreants and gangsters were taking advantage of the inefficiency of the Government and the police. This was why the incidents of desecration and vandalism were taking place repeatedly at many temples in different corners of the State.