Ministers for Municipal Administration and Endowments B. Satyanarayana and V. Srinivas on Sunday alleged that former Chief Minister and TDP national president N. Chandrababu Naidu was behind the desecration of Lord Rama’s idol at the Kodandarama Swamy temple at Ramateertham a few days ago.
After visiting the temple and interacting with the priests, the Ministers also alleged that Mr. Naidu was raking up the issue for political survival and to win the ensuing byelection to the Tirupati Lok Sabha seat by hook or by crook.
Mr. Naidu, during his tenure, had never tried to protect the temples, including the one at Ramateertham, they alleged.
Snipe at Ashok
Defending the removal of senior TDP leader P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju from the chairmanship of three temples, Mr. Satyanarayana said, “Mr. Raju had never visited the hilltop temple. He had failed to take steps for its improvement and protection. He is now trying to utilise the incident to gain political mileage.”
He further said that Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy had faith in God and never tried to use religion or caste for political gain.
Meanwhile, police department had deployed more forces at the temple to prevent all forms of agitations. The police also did not allow religious heads and activists of various Hindu organisations to visit the temple.
Vizianagaram Superintendent of Police B. Rajakumari reviewed the security measures in view of the agitations planned by several organisations in the next few days.
Senior BJP leader and MLC P.V.N. Madhav and other party leaders demanded an inquiry into the happenings at Ramateertham on Saturday wherein Vizianagaram parliamentary party president Reddi Pavani fainted during the tussle with the police personnel.
They also condemned the arrest of party State Executive Committee member N. Eswara Rao. The BJP leaders took out a protest rally in Vizianagaram, condemning the “police high handedness” at the temple.