AP by-elections: Jagan's Tirupati visit takes political turn

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YS Jaganmohan Reddy
Hyderabad, May 7: YSR Congress leader and Kadapa MP YS Jaganmohan Reddy's visit to Tirupati has taken a political turn keeping in mind the upcoming by-elections in the state that is scheduled to take place on Jun 12, especially in the Tirupati constituency.

Chandrababu Naidu's Telgu Desam Party raked up the issue with the Election Commission (EC) saying that the purpose behind Jagan's visit to Tirumala was political and not religious, as reported by India Today.

A practising Christian by faith, Jaganmohan Reddy's Tirupati visit sparked off controversy after he failed to sign the register declaring his faith in Lord Tirupati. On entering the temple, his followers raised the slogans "Jai Jagan" where devotees are expected only to chant the name of Lord Venkateshwara.

Hitting back at the TDP, YSR Congress lodged a complaint with the EC alleging that the TDP violated the election norms by evoking communal passions among people and blowing the issue of his visit to the temple out of proportion.

Chandrababu Naidu, who is on a campaign tour in the Tirupati constituency has struck the right cord by making Jagan's "blasphemous" visit to the temple his trump card.

"Jagan has no faith in Lord Venkateshwara. Any vote for his party will be an affront to the Hindu religion and an insult to the sentiments of the people," said Naidu at Shettipalli village during an election rally on Sunday.

Lashing out Jaganmohan's father, he said that the late YS Rajashekhar Reddy, also a Christian by faith played with the emotions of the Hindus by intervening in the affairs of the Tirumala temple.

"YSR made Bhumana Karunakar Reddy, an atheist, as the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams trust board chairman, only to loot the properties of temple. (Karunakar Reddy was a Maoist sympathiser before returning to the mainstream and joining the Congress party during YSR regime). Diamonds and jewels worth crores of rupees belonging to the temple had disappeared during the regime of Karunakar Reddy, who had amassed wealth running into crores of rupees. Now, this gentleman is contesting as YSR Congress party candidate for Tirupati seat. Any vote for Karunakar Reddy will anger the Tirumala god," he said.

"Why are they making a fuss only now, if not for gaining political mileage in the elections?" asked Jagan during an election rally at Kadapa defending his stand over not signing the declaration of faith.

OneIndia News

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