Amaravati: The Telugu Desam Party (TDP), along with Hindu devotees, on Wednesday, held protest demonstrations at different places demanding that Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy should sign the mandatory ‘declaration’ before entering into the Tirumala temple this evening.

The TDP leaders urged the CM to uphold the traditions of the temple by ‘declaring’ his faith in the deity. Former President late Abdul Kalam also signed the declaration, they pointed out. There had been many instances of non-Hindu visitors signing the declaration before taking darshan of Lord Balaji at the TTD temple.

The Opposition parties, including the TDP and BJP, have been leading agitations demanding that the YSRCP government should take action against the culprits involved in attacks on temples. They faulted the government for not swinging into action to find the culprits behind gutting of the temple chariots at Antarvedi and Konda Bitragunta and the mysterious disappearance of three silver lions from the chariot of Vijayawada Kanaka Durga temple. In the last 100 days, many other temples were attacked but the government is remaining a mute spectator, they said.

Though the police made preventive arrests in Chittoor district and in Tirupati town, the TDP leaders came out and registered their protest against the YSRCP government for raising a controversy over the ‘declaration’ and demanding that it be scrapped.

Former minister N. Amaranath Reddy and other leaders were placed under house arrest today. Former minister Kalva Srinivasulu and former MLA Prabhakar Chowdary wrote a letter to the TTD executive officer to take ‘declaration’ from the Chief Minister, in accordance with the temple rules.

Holding placards and raising slogans, the TDP leaders and activists held a protest at the Varadarajula Swamy temple in Tirupati. They demanded that the CM should come along with his spouse to present the silk clothes to Lord Balaji and his consorts.

At a protest in Rajahmundry, the TDP leaders asserted that if Jagan Reddy would not like to give his declaration, he should not come for darshan. They suggested that some other minister having faith in the deity may be deputed to take part in the Brahmotsavam celebrations.

TDP protests were witnessed in Tirupati, Visakhapatnam, Nandigama, Nellimarla, Rajahmundry and a few other places in the state.Telugu Mahila president V. Anitha said that the Chief Minister should show his respect towards the temple by signing the ‘declaration’ before entering into the premises. “The CM should set an ideal for others to preserve and uphold the traditions at temples,” she added.

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