Jaganmohan Reddy’s temple run raises eyebrows, rivals say it’s for political gains | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Jaganmohan Reddy’s temple run raises eyebrows, rivals say it’s for political gains

The YSR Congress Party president is a devout Christian. He visited a Hindi seer near Hyderabad on Tuesday. He had also visited Hindu spiritual gurus in Rishikesh last year.

india Updated: Oct 08, 2017 07:21 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Jagan Reddy meets Jeeyar Swamy at the ashram on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
Jagan Reddy meets Jeeyar Swamy at the ashram on the outskirts of Hyderabad.(HT Photo)

A devout Christian, YSR Congress Party president YS Jaganmohan Reddy is big on yatras (marches/tours) for political outreach. Add to it his fresh affinity for Hindu temples and seers, sneer his rivals these days.

These rivals are convinced Jagan’s temple runs, which started in the public eye about two years ago, are being engineered with an eye on the Andhra Pradesh assembly elections due in 2019. Jagan’s supporters, however, insist this is a true representation of his secular credentials.

Jagan visited the ashram of Vaishnavaite seer Sri Tridandi Srimannarayana Ramanuja Chinna Jeeyar Swamy on the outskirts of Hyderabad on Tuesday, triggering fresh talk of the move being strategic.

After an hour-long meeting with the seer, Jagan tweeted he had gone to seek blessings for his 3,000-km foot march proposed over six months starting November 2.

Jagan touched the feet of the Jeeyar Swamy, purportedly annoying Christian believers. “By prostrating before Hindu seers, Jagan has proved he is not a true Christian,” said former YSR Congress Party MLC Jupudi Prabhakar Rao, associated with various Christian organisations.

“For him, political gains are more important than his religious beliefs,” added Rao, who joined TDP after deserting Jagan.

This is not the first instance of Jagan heading to Hindu spiritual gurus. Last year, he went to Rishikesh to perform special prayers in the presence of Visakha Sarada Mutt seer Swamy Swaroopanandendra Saraswati and participate in Vedic rituals.

His family members are also going on Hindu pilgrimages. Jagan’s mother and former MLA, YS Vijayalakshmi, went on a pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar last year.

A few months ago, the party started Maha Rudra Sahitha Chandi Yagam at Nagole “Our boss will take part in the homam in a week or two, before taking up the padayatra,” party secretary A Varaprasad Reddy told HT.

Jagan could not be reached for comments.

But YSR Congress Party leaders insist there is no political significance to his temple visits. “First of all, he is an Indian and has respect towards all religious faiths. What is wrong if Jagan touches the feet of Jeeyar Swamy or performs Yagam?” party MLA Alla Ramakrishna Reddy told HT.