Vijayawada: Under fire from the opposition over temple desecration, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government released a list of religious places attacked during former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu's regime.
On 2nd January, TDP National President visited Ramatheertham near Vizianagaram where he enquired about the beheading of the 400-year old idol of Lord Rama at Kodandarama Temple.
TDP National President accused Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy of showing utter disrespect to the sentiments of the Hindu devotees in the State.
Naidu said that the Chief Minister has turned out to be a 'betrayer of Hindus' as not a single accused person was arrested so far in over 127 attacks that were made on temples, idols and priests in the past 19 months.
"Jagan Reddy may be a Christian. But thinking to use power for converting Hindus is wrong. If people in power resort to religious conversions, it amounts to betrayal," he said.
Countering Naidu, the Andhra Pradesh government released a list of temples, mosques, and Churches attacked during TDP rule. The government said over 29 people died in a stampede during Pushkaraulu.In response to the rising allegations, The chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy criticised the opposition party leaders for playing cheap politics by using religion to divert people's attention from the work the government is doing. "Who actually benefits from smashing idols of God? Who benefits from anarchy in temples and chapels? Who benefits from provoking emotions and committing violence? Who benefits from making false propaganda that hurts people's faith? Who are being targeted by these evil acts? People need to ask these questions," said the chief minister.
Elaborating on these issues, he said, that when the state government started the Nadu-Nedu programme in Ongole on 14 November 2019, on the same day, the opposition protested the demolition of a Durga temple in Guntur district that occurred during road widening. "That temple had been shifted to its new premises even before the road widening started," he clarified. He mentioned another incident which happened on 15 January 2020, when the government set up a market intervention fund with Rs 3,000 crore to purchase crops by paying the Minimum Support Price to the farmers. To divert attention from this, the opposition vandalised Anjaneya Swamy temple in Pithapuram on January 21, he alleged. After one week of launching the first Disha Police Station, nearly three such incidents took place across the state, he added. Similar incidents were orchestrated during the distribution of house sites, including the desecration of Ramalayam in Vizianagaram district.
Jagan stated that most of the temples are not covered under the Endowments Department and these attack on temples has been happening in remote areas during late hours when no one is around, especially in private temples owned by the opposition. "We already installed CCTV cameras in 20,000 temples and yet, through a section of media and social platforms, opposition leaders are campaigning on these issues for political gain," he said.