BJP leaders to visit Ramateertham today

Govt. trying to intimidate us with arrests: Somu Veerraju

The BJP will make one more attempt to visit the Sri Rama temple at Ramateertham in Vizianagaram district on Thursday.

Addressing the media here on Wednesday, BJP State president Somu Veerraju demanded that the government grant them permission to visit the temple just as it accorded permission to YSRCP Rajya Sabha member V. Vijaya Sai Reddy and Leader of the Opposition and TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu.

“The government is trying to intimidate us with arrests and by deploying huge police force outside our offices. We do not find any rationality in it as we are only trying to address the grievances of the Hindus, who constitute a majority of the population,” Mr. Veerraju said.

Ramatheertham made headlines recently after the desecration of Lord Rama’s idol at a temple there.

The BJP leaders had tried to reach the temple on Tuesday, but many of them were arrested en route, or put under preventive arrest.

‘Yatra soon’

“The party will take out a yatra some time after January 20 to all the temples, including Antarvedi and Pithapuram, vandalised in the State in the last few months,” Mr. Veerraju said.

Referring to Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s remarks that the State was witnessing a “political guerilla warfare,” Mr. Veerraju said vandalising of temples belonging to the majority population could not be called such. “The Chief Minister is playing vote back politics,” he alleged.

Referring to Government Adviser Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy’s comments that the BJP was trying to rake up religious passion as its existence was under threat, he said, “I dare Mr. Ramakrishna Reddy to ask the Chief Minister to broach the issue with the Prime Minister or the Union Home Minister the next time he visits them in New Delhi.”

On Endowments Minister V. Srinivas commenting that the BJP would not get a single vote in the next election, Mr. Veerraju said, “The Minister should not forget that in 2014 he had contested on the BJP ticket and lost by a margin of 3,000 votes.”

‘No tie-up with TDP’

Ruling out any tie-up with the TDP in the future, Mr. Veerraju called Mr. Chandrababu Naidu an opportunist.

“Mr. Naidu suddenly appears to have become an ardent devotee of Lord Rama and Hindutva. He was the one who had destroyed over 30 temples during the Krishna Pushkarams,” the BJP leader alleged.

Critical of the schemes being launched by Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy, he said the State had been receiving a lot of subsidy from the Centre, and this was not being told to the people with the sole interest of hogging the limelight.

MLC P.V.N. Madhav and former MLA P. Vishnu Kumar Raju were among others present.

Earlier in the day, the BJP leaders staged a dharna at the Gandhi statue near the GVMC office.

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