Ration cards with Jesus image spark row in AP, govt accuses TDP supporter of mischief
The Andhra Pradesh Civil Supplies Department said Tuesday that it is preparing to take action against a ration shop dealer in East Godavari district for allegedly printing images of Jesus Christ on ration cards.
A picture of a ration card with an image of Jesus Christ has gone viral in the social media in the state, embarrassing the Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government which has already been facing criticism for allegedly promoting Christianity at the cost of other religions.
Chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy is a Christian.
An official statement from the government said the ration cards were identified to be from Vadlamuru village of Peddapuram block, where the fair price shop (No. 34) was allotted to a woman dealer M Manga Devi.
The statement said Manga Devi’s husband M Satyanarayana, who is Telugu Desam Party (TDP) member, had intentionally printed Jesus Christ’s picture on the ration cards with malicious intentions. “The civil supplies department are preparing to take action on this issue of misconduct,” the statement said.
The statement said the rational dealer’s husband is a TDP supporter and not a converted Christian. “Previously, in 2016 the same person had printed Sai Baba picture on the ration cards, Lord Balaji photo in 2017 and 2018, and Jesus Christ picture in 2019,” it pointed out.
TDP spokesman V Ramaiah could not be reached for comments on the ration cards with Christ’s image.
The chief minister’s faith has become a big political issue of late and the opposition parties have been accusing him of promoting Christianity at the cost of other religions.
The printing of details of Jerusalem trip on the back side of government bus tickets in the Hindu pilgrim centre of Tirumala, increasing of government assistance to Christians travelling to Jerusalem from Rs 40,000 to Rs 60,000, granting of honorarium of Rs 5,000 to pastors and alleged conversion of Hindus at Punnami Ghat on the banks of Krishna river in Vijayawada recently have kicked up controversies.
The government has clarified that there was nothing new in these schemes as they were introduced during the previous regimes in the combined Andhra Pradesh and that it was only continuing the schemes with enhanced benefits.
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