Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh High Court on Thursday set aside the state government's order to remove Vizianagaram scion Ashok Gajapathi Raju as hereditary trustee of Ramateertham, Sri Pyditalli Ammavari Devasthanam, and Sri Mandeswara Swamy Temple in East Godavari.

"The order to remove me as hereditary trustee/chairman of Ramateerthalu has been set aside by the High Court today, I saw in the news that is the Pratishta at Ramateerthlu when Lord Rama blessed me on this auspicious day to continue in his service," Ashok tweeted.

It may be recalled that in view of the recent attacks on temples, Andhra Pradesh government on January 2 removed senior Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader Ashok Gajapathi Raju from the post of chairman of three temples in the state.

In an official statement, the government stated that former Union Minister Ashok Gajapathi has "failed in discharging his legitimate duties" and "address security issues" of the temples.

"Ashok Gajapathi Raju has failed to discharge his legitimate duties and address the issues relating to the security aspects of the temple and failed to take steps to prevent the vandalization of Lord Rama's idol in Sri Rama Swamy Devasthanam in Vizianagaram district," the statement said.

The government said Ashok Gajapathi Raju has been removed from the post of Chairman of the Trust Board of the three temples after careful examination of the matter.

The YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government cited a recent attack on a temple in Andhra Pradesh while relieving Ashok Gajapathi from his duties. On December 28, the idol of Lord Ram in Sri Kodandarama Swamy Devasthanam was vandalized by unidentified persons in the Nellimerla Mandal of Vizianagaram district.

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