Amaravati: Former TDP MLA Bonda Umamaheswara Rao, on 24 September, criticised Chief Minister Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy for staying silent regarding the temple attacks in the state and said sitting like a “silent monk” was not in the best interest of the people.

He appealed to the YSRCP government not to take lightly the customs and traditions that have been practiced at various temples in the state since times immemorial.

Addressing a press conference here, the TDP leader claimed that Jagan was deliberately not following the rules and regulations of the temple in utter disregard for the sentiments of the devotees. While several attacks were taking place at temples in the state, the Chief Minister was sitting like a “silent monk” which is not in the best interests of all sections of the people, he alleged.

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The tradition of non-Hindus declaring their faith at Tirumala temple has been practiced since the British rule in India, the TDP leader said, adding that even the Andhra Pradesh Endowments Act and GO 311 underlines the need for a non-Hindu to declare his/her faith before entering the Tirumala temple for darshan.

Mr. Bonda Uma said that the CM and his family could follow any religion they wished but there was no way that the traditions of other religions could be ignored, disregarding the feelings of the devotees. These kinds of activities would disrupt the harmony among the people, he said.

The TDP leader alleged that the wrongdoings of the Jagan Reddy government were bringing tears to the eyes of Peethadhipathis and Hindu devotees. People were presenting silken robes at the temple without their spouse by their side, thereby desecrating the sacredness of the temple, the TDP leader claimed, adding that non-Hindus visited the Tirumala temple along with Jagan without submitting a declaration.

Mr. Bonda Uma criticised Jagan’s silence on issues pertaining to temples while he was quick to react to the postponement of the local body elections. The CM should explain why he has not acted promptly and taken steps against culprits attacking the temples, he said.

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