Pawan Kalyan, BJP leaders on hunger strike over temple attacks in Andhra
Thousands of leaders and activists of Bharatiya Janata Party and Jana Sena sat on an 11-hour long hunger strike all over Andhra Pradesh on Thursday in protest against alleged attacks on Hindu temples and the burning of a temple chariot.
The BJP-Jana Sena combine gave a joint call to their respective party workers to take up the fast in the name of “Dharma Parirakshan Deeksha” (Penance to protect Hindu dharma), demanding that action be taken against those responsible for the burning of chariot at Sri Lakshminarasimha Swamy temple at Antarvedi in East Godavari district on Sunday last.
Jana Sena party chief and popular Tollywood actor Pawan Kalyan took up the deeksha at 10 am at his residence in Hyderabad. He alleged that there have been increased attacks on Hindu temples during the Jagan Mohan Reddy regime in Andhra Pradesh.
He demanded that the state government order a probe by a retired high court judge into the Antarvedi temple chariot fire. “If the government does not act seriously, we shall approach the Centre seeking a CBI investigation into the incident,” the Jana Sena chief said.
BJP state president Somu Veerraju, who sat on a 11-hour deeksha at his residence in Rajahmundry in East Godavari district, said the agitation would continue till the state government brings the culprits to book. He said he would petition the Governor over the burning of chariot at Antarvedi temple.
Former state BJP president Kanna Lakshminarayana also sat on a 11-hour fast at his residence in Guntur. He alleged that there had been a systematic attack on Hinduism since the Jagan Mohan Reddy government was formed last year.
“The burning of chariot at Antarvedi was atrocious and it has hurt the sentiments of Hindus. Similar incidents had taken place at various temples in the past. Had the government acted on time in the past, such incidents would not have recurred,” Lakshminarayana said.
K Raghurama Krishnam Raju, rebel YSR Congress Party MP from Narasapuram parliamentary constituency, also announced that he would take up eight-hour long deeksha at his residence in New Delhi on Friday.
He said he would sit on a dharna at his residence from 9 am to 5 pm by following all precautions for Covid-19. He condemned the series of attacks on the Hindu temples in the recent past.