Practice of Politicos Seeking Temple Vows Here to Stay

HYDERABAD: When it comes to going one-up over another, there is nothing quite like a challenge, and political parties in Telangana have taken it a notch higher than most, with leaders from different parties challenging one another to take oaths and swear by the God or Goddess to prove what they are saying was the truth.

Recently, AIMIM floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi, targeting TPCC president A. Revanth Reddy, challenged the Congress leader to take an oath at the Bhagyalakshmi temple in Charminar that he was never associated with the primary Sangh Parivar outfit, the RSS.

While the trend has been in place for some time, it is gaining even more ground of late. Going by the latest statement of Akbaruddin Owaisi, this practice is here to stay.

Taking credit for the development was former BJP state president Bandi Sanjay Kumar, who, on Wednesday, said in Karimnagar that it was he who first went to that temple, and since then, others have followed.

Sanjay had famously taken a similar oath at the Yadadri temple following the Moinabad farmhouse incident, wherein the police sought to make a case that the BJP was making efforts to buy out BRS leaders including the ruling party MLAs Guvvala Balaraju and ‘Pilot’ Rohit Reddy.

While political challenges to prove the truth at a temple have now become the norm, this trend also spread to other aspects of the life of politicians, as was the recent case in the Medak district.

Two BRS factions at loggerheads went to the Edupayala Vanadurga temple over allegations that Medak MLA Padma Devender Reddy’s husband had kept gold belonging to the temple at the temple executive officer’s residence. It was Malkajgiri MLA, who has since quit the BRS to join the Congress, Mynampally Hanumantha Rao’s supporters who alleged that Devender Reddy had hidden the temple gold at the official’s residence, In the end, Devender Reddy went to the temple, took a dip in the Manjeera River, and then took an oath that he had nothing to do with the issue.

And promises not kept with respect to temples have also become political grist in Telangana. It was not too long ago that BRS MLA from Ramagundam, Korakanti Chander Patel, was alleged to have not kept his promise of developing the Trilanga Raja Rajeshwara Swamy temple in Janagama village.

The charge came from the district Congress committee president, Makkan Singh Raj Tagore, who said the BRS MLA adopted the village, and assured that he would develop the village, including building the temple, but did not do so.

In December of 2022, Rohit Reddy challenged Bandi Sanjay to take an oath at the Bhagyalakshmi temple that he, Rohit, was involved in drug-related cases in Karnataka. For good measure, Rohit Reddy reached the temple on December 17 morning and waited for Sanjay to turn up, but the BJP leader did not show up. Rohit Reddy, in turn, called on Sanjay to take an oath at the Yadadri temple to prove his charges, a challenge that has remained just that, a challenge.

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