Political storm brews over Jagan’s silence on Temple attacks in the state

TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu has deplored Andhra Pradesh CM YS. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s silence on the recent attacks on temples in the state.

Jagan who is on a 2-day visit to the hilltop shrine of Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala has so far stayed away from making a political statement condemning the Temple attacks.

The temple politics in Andhra has become a full-blown political issue as TDP and the BJP  have demanded that CM Jagan should submit a declaration at the Tirumala temple to affirm his faith and belief in the divinity of Lord Venkateswara.

Jagan’s visit, who is in Tirumala to attend the nine-day annual Brahmotsavams festival, comes in the backdrop of this raging controversy. It has been a tradition for several years that the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh presents ‘Pattu Vastrams’ to Lord Venkateswara during Brahmotsavams.

On Sept 18, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam Board decided not to demand a declaration of religion from Jagan Mohan Reddy, meanwhile the TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu said the long-established traditions at TTD should not be changed for the sake of a non-believer.

As per TTD Board guidelines, rule no. 136 states that non-Hindus wishing to have darshan at the shrine should declare their religion, on a form, to the temple board.

On the other hand as a far-reaching measure, Reddy and the TTD Board has decided that beginning 2020-21, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India will audit the TTD’s accounts and assets, instead of the state audit department. The CAG audit will cover all revenue, expenditure and assets of the TTD.

Interestingly, CAG has been asked to undertake a special audit for 2014-15 to 2019-20 period and give a report within six months.

Adding fuel to the fire, Andhra Pradesh BJP on Tuesday passed three resolutions including the issue of attacks on Hindu temples and sentiments. The resolution follows after BJP’s called for “Chalo Amalapuram” protest march to save Hindu temples after a 62-years old temple chariot located inside the Sri Lakshmi Narasimha temple was gutted in a fire. The temple is located in one of the most revered Vaishnavite religious centres in Antarvedi in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.

BJP national spokesman and MP G.V.L. Narasimha Rao in a letter to the Centre said that 18 attacks have taken place on Hindu temples in a year.

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