VIJAYAWADA: Minister for Endowments Velampalli Srinivas Rao on Sunday alleged that BJP and Telugu Desam were indulging in politics in the name of temples to derive benefits in the ensuing Tirupati Lok Sabha by-election.
He said that BJP State president Somu Veerraju has threatened the police about lodging complaints against them with the Union Government regarding attacks on temples, which was objectionable.
The minister affirmed that they have nothing to fear and the BJP can go ahead with their complaints. Srinivasa Rao came down heavily against Veerraju, his party MLC P.V.N. Madhav and TD chief N Chandrababu Naidu for targeting police over attacks on temples.
Speaking to the media here, the Minister said that it was unfortunate that instead of denying the allegations of the involvement in temple vandalism, Veerraju has threatened DGP Gautam Sawang. He said the DGP will provide evidence for the charges filed against those arrested for vandalizing temples and the government would take strict action against those trying for political gains. He said Naidu had no faith in God and hence had no moral right to speak about temples and Hindus.
The Minister questioned BJP's alliance with Pawan Kalyan, who had hurt the sentiments of Hindus, and the silence of Somu Veerraju and Madhav when 40 temples were demolished in Vijayawada during the TD government and when a chariot was burnt in Tadepalligudem. He said the State Government has handed over Antarvedi chariot blaze case to CBI on September 11 of last year.
Flaying BJP for alleging religious conversions at the behest of the State government, he pointed out that financial assistance was being provided to archakas along with pastors and imams.
The Minister said while the state government has formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate temple offences, the opposition parties are trying to create a communal divide. He said a mere Rs 150 crore was sanctioned by the previous government from 2014-19 for development of temples while Rs 168 crore was sanctioned within 18 months by the incumbent government which should explain everything.
He stated that for the first time Rs 70 crore has been sanctioned for development works at Kanakadurga temple in Vijayawada by the YSRC government.