Naidu raking up Ramateertham issue for political survival, says Minister

TDP national president and former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu is raking up the Ramateertham idol desecration issue to gain political mileage, Tourism Minister Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao has alleged.

Addressing the media here on Tuesday, Mr. Srinivasa Rao said, “Mr. Naidu needs to do an introspection. He should ask for himself if he had visited the Ramateertham temple, or had thought of developing it by catering funds during his term.”

“Why is he trying to stir up religious passions now?” the Minister questioned.

“Lord Rama is worshipped by all the Hindus, irrespective of their political affiliations. It is wrong on the part of Mr. Naidu to paint the YSRCP as anti-Hindu,” he said.

Taking exception to Mr. Naidu’s alleged comments on the faith of Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and DGP D. Goutham Sawang, the Minister said, “Following a particular religion is ones preference and a right enshrined in the Constitution. Mr. Naidu has no right to comment on it.”

“The TDP’s base is fast eroding due the success of the government’s welfare schemes. That is why Mr. Naidu is stirring up religious passions,” Mr. Srinivasa Rao said.

Advice to BJP, JSP

Alleging that Mr. Naidu had vested interest in the Ramateertham issue, the Minister urged the leaders of the BJP and the Jana Sena Party (JSP) not to walk into his trap.

“Instead of making the desecration incident a political issue, the BJP should focus on developing the State and the north Andhra region by fast-tracking the separate railway zone, the Polavaram project and other development works,” the Minister said.

“The TDP may have a hand in the Ramateertham issue. The incident took place during the visit of the Chief Minister to Vizianagaram for the patta distribution programme,” he said.

The CID would bring out the truth, he said, and added that security had been beefed up at all places of worship.

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