Temples in Andhra Pradesh have come under unprecedented attack, thanks to the blind eye turned by the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSRCP government. Jagan attempts to course-correct and is rushing to one temple after the another to placate the Hindu community. While the Hindus are enraged about how their places of worship have been desecrated, the BJP is planning to begin a 1992-esque Rath Yatra in Andhra to send a clear message to the Hindu-hating politicians of the state.
To protest against the Andhra Pradesh government’s alleged negligence in preventing attacks on the temples, the party will kick off Rama Rath Yatra tentatively in the last week of January or the first week of February from Ramatheertham in Vizianagaram district to Kapilatheertham in Tirupati.
The BJP which is keeping the YSRCP government on the edge by turning on the heat over the rampant attack on temples in Andhra Pradesh is hoping to up the ante and also get a foothold in the state where it has little or no base. Ever since the BJP’s victory in the neighbouring Telangana’s Dubakka by-polls and splendid performance in the GHMC elections, the party has set its eyes on Andhra Pradesh as the next state to further expand its base.
The BJP is hoping that the Rama Rath Yatra which will cover 13 districts will change the fortunes of the party in the state just like the 1992 Rath Yatra, where the party went from having just two MPs in Lok Sabha to forming the government at the Centre just a couple of years later.
Characteristically, the BJP is going all-in for the Tirupati by-elections with the ultimate aim to storm to power in Andhra Pradesh, upsetting the apple cart of the YSRCP and TDP. “Today development works such as flyover, parks, LED bulbs, modernisation of railway station, railway over bridge and extension of the airport were taken up under the Tirupati smart city project. As promised, world-class educational institutions like IIT, IISER, Indian culinary institute were established in Tirupati,” said BJP State President Somu Veeraraju.
Recently, the idol of Goddess Sita was found vandalised near Pandit Nehru bus stop in the Sitaram Temple in Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh. This came in the backdrop of the idols of Lord Subrahmanya and Shri Ram being desecrated and damaged in the state recently. The Shri Ram idol vandalised at Ramatheertham temple by Hindu-haters was 400-years-old.
Many other similar incidents have occurred in the last few weeks. A Nandi idol was destroyed, an old heritage chariot parked at ancient Antarvedi Lakshmi Narasimha Temple was found burnt, and Subrahmanya Swamy’s idol in Lord Vigneshwara temple of Rajahmundry district destroyed– all within the last few weeks.
The BJP has sensed an opportunity in Andhra Pradesh and is now going for the kill with the Rama Rath Yatra.