Congress, BRS spar over Yadadri funds

Don’t mix religion, politics and do not politicise temple, says BJP

Hyderabad: The Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple atop Yadadri earned the highest income of Rs 225 crore in fiscal 2023-24, kicking off a political slugfest between major political parties ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

The BRS said the credit belonged to former chief minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, who renovated the temple by spending nearly Rs 1,500 crore and its grandeur was attracting devotees from across the globe which led to the increase in hundi collections and temple earnings.

The Congress was quick to counter, claiming that the number of pilgrims increased due to the free bus travel scheme for women that Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy launched on December 9, within two days of the Congress coming to power.

The Congress said all major temples including those at Bhadrachalam and Kondagattu were witnessing increased earnings as women in large numbers were using the free travel scheme to visit them.

The BJP found fault with both the BRS and the Congress and said that religion should not be mixed with politics and the temple issue cannot be made political.

The renovated Yadadri temple was inaugurated on March 28, 2022, Chandrashekar Rao. The figures released by Yadadri temple chief executive officer A. Bhaskar Rao showed that in the first fiscal (April 2022-March 2023) after renovation, the temple earned `169 crore, which grew by Rs 55 crore to Rs 225 crore in the second fiscal (2023-24) which ended on March 31.

Responding to these statistics, BRS leader Manne Krishank posted on 'X', "Some politicians can never understand KCR garu's Asset Building..." His post triggered sharp reactions.

The Congress rebuked the BRS claims and said the free public transportation through buses being provided by Congress government for women as part of "Mahalakhsmi" scheme has contributed to increased earnings of Yadadri.

Sama Rammohan Reddy, chairman, media and communications, TPCC, said: "Yadadri temple was inaugurated in March 2022. Why was the temple's earnings in 2022-23 during the BRS regime were not anywhere near to that of 2023-24, when the Congress came to power, if Yadadri temple attracted more pilgrims due to renovation. This increase in pilgrims and earnings to the temple is due to the free bus scheme for women.”

BJP state vice-president N.V.S.S. Prabhakar condemned the statements of both the parties and advised both not to mix religion with politics.

"It's wrong to view temples as assets and revenue earning sources. It's a matter of faith and devotion. It's unfortunate that BRS and Congress are politicising even temples and trying to make temples and temple earnings as an election issue for Lok Sabha polls and derive political mileage," he said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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