Andhra govt hits back at Chandrababu Naidu for questioning CM’s faith

Updated on Jan 07, 2021 05:22 PM IST

YSRC says Naidu is creating communal hatred by pointing out that Jagan Reddy is a Christian and did not take prompt action after a temple was vandalised on December 28

Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.(File photo)
Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.(File photo)
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad | By

The Andhra Pradesh government on Thursday launched a counter-attack on Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu for allegedly politicising the vandalism of Hindu temples by raising the issue of chief minister YSR Jagan Mohan Reddy’s faith.

State minister for tourism and culture Muthamsetty Srinivasa Rao told reporters in Visakhapatnam that Naidu was creating communal hatred by linking Jagan Reddy’s Christianity to the recent attacks on temples.

“The TDP president is repeatedly raising the issue of the chief minister’s Christian faith so as to gain political mileage. He is acting like a typical movie villain,” the minister said.

Minister Kodali Venkateshwara Rao accused Naidu of launching a venomous campaign by alleging that the chief minister was not acting on vandalism in temples because he was a Christian.

“Jagan doesn’t discriminate between Hindus and Christians in the implementation of welfare schemes. He launched the house sites distribution programme on December 25 which coincided with Vaikuntha Ekadasi as well as Christmas,” he said.

Meanwhile, state director general of police Gautam Sawang has threatened to file a criminal case against the TDP president for attributing communal motives to him. “I am consulting my lawyers before proceeding with criminal action against Naidu,” the DGP said in Tirupati.

“I never expected that Chandrababu Naidu, who had served as a chief minister for a long period, would talk so irresponsibly,” he said.

The DGP went on to suspect a largescale conspiracy behind the series of attacks on temples in the recent past. “The sequence of events clearly shows that some vested interests are trying to create law and order problems in the state,” he said.

A day ago, Naidu had said at a party meeting that the attack on Ramatirtham temple in Vizianagaram on the night of December 28 was due to inaction of the Jagan government.

“The chief minister, the home minister (M Sucharita), the DGP and even the district SP are all Christians. They should have taken prompt steps to clear doubts among Hindu devotees. But they displayed total negligence,” Naidu said.

TDP official spokesman NB Sudhakar Reddy expressed surprise over the DGP’s statement that he would file a criminal case against Naidu for raising his voice against destruction of temples. He said it was unwarranted on the part of Sawang to threaten the TDP president who had served as the chief minister for 14 years.

“The DGP should stop acting like a YSRC worker and do his duty as per the law. Why didn’t he take any action when the chief minister and YSRC leaders repeatedly raised Naidu’s caste with regard to Amaravati issue?” he asked.

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    Srinivasa Rao is Senior Assistant Editor based out of Hyderabad covering developments in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana . He has over three decades of reporting experience.

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