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‘Jagan Reddy betrayer of hindus’: Chandrababu Naidu lashes out after 400-year-old Ram statue beheaded

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Amaravati, Jan 02: Incidents of desecration of idols in some temples in Andhra Pradesh have triggered a political storm with opposition parties lashing out at the Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government, holding it solely responsible for the attacks.

Retaliating, ruling YSR Congress leaders accused Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu of hatching a conspiracy to provoke antipathy towards the government.

Chandrababu Naidu

First the head of Lord Ramas idol was defaced at the famous Ramateertham hill temple in Vizianagaram district on the night of December 28.

Two days later, the hands and legs of the Subrahmanyeswara Swamy idol were found broken in a temple in Rajamahendravaram.

The two incidents kicked up a furore in the state with opposition parties hitting out at the government for failing to protect the temples.

There were more than 125 incidents of desecration and vandalism in various temples across the state since Jagan took over, some opposition party leaders claimed.

Chandrababu visited Ramateertham on Saturday demanding that the government order a CBI probe into the temple vandalism and alleged religious conversions.

Rajya Sabha member of the ruling party V Vijaya Sai Reddy too undertook a counter visit to the temple while BJP MLC P V N Madhav also led another group for an on-the-spot inspection.

In a related development, the state government removed former Union Minister P Ashok Gajapati Raju as the Ramateertham temple chairman, alleging that he failed to discharge his legitimate duties and address the issues relating to the security aspects of the temple. He also failed to take steps to prevent the vandalisation of Lord Ramas idol in Sri Rama Swamy Devasthanam, the government alleged.

Raju, who as the founding family member, was also removed as head of the Pyditalli Ammavari temple in Vizianagaram and Mandeswara Swamy temple in East Godavari district.

Endowments Minister V Srinivas, at a press conference at the YSRC office here, hit out at the former Union Minister and alleged that Lord Ramas idol was vandalised in an attempt to destabilise the state government.

The BJP, Jana Sena and Congress also castigated the government over the desecration of temples and slammed its "failure" to bring the culprits to book in such cases.

"Defacing temples and idols has become a routine affair during the rule of Jagan Mohan Reddy.In not even one case the miscreants were punished, which was emboldening the perpetrators," state Congress working president N Thulasi Reddy said in a release.

BJP state general secretary S Vishnuvardhan Reddy claimed police were acting like mute spectators as vandals were going around damaging the temples and idols.

The Jagan government failed grossly in protecting the temples and the Hindu faith, he alleged. It would pay a heavy price if it did not take effective steps and put an end to such acts of vandalism, Vishnuvardhan warned.

Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan, in a statement, alleged a conspiracy was on to hurt the sentiments of Hindus in AP as the government was remaining silent over growing attacks on temples.

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