YSR Jagan Mohan Reddy, the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, after having gone into damage control mode following a spate of horrifying temple vandalism in the state, with idols too being desecrated, has now taken to attacking former chief minister Chandrababu Naidu and the TDP. Temperatures in Andhra Pradesh have been rising against the YSRCP government, which is being increasingly seen as a front working only for the benefit of minorities – particularly Christians in the state. In order to calm the tempers of Hindus in Andhra Pradesh, and also to not let opposition parties mount an aggressive campaign against him, Jagan Mohan Reddy conducted Bhoomi Pujan at temples on Friday and has also inaugurated development works for various Hindu places of worship.
The YSRCP supremo has now taken to allege that the spate of temple vandalisms and idol desecrations being witnessed in Andhra Pradesh are, in fact, the handiwork of political parties like the TDP and the BJP, who are looking to vitiate the atmosphere in the state to dent the ruling party’s fortunes. “A new model of political guerrilla warfare is taking place in the state. Temples and idols are being attacked with political motives. Attacks are being held on temples at places with less population, at midnight hours at isolated places. The idols are being desecrated,” Jagan Mohan Reddy said.
The Andhra Chief Minister added, “The next day those incidents are being publicised on social media. After that, a section of mainstream media is publicising that news. Opposition parties are using those opportunities.” State minister for tourism and culture Muthamsetty Srinivasa Rao, meanwhile, told reporters in Visakhapatnam that Chandrababu Naidu was creating communal hatred in the state by linking Jagan Reddy’s Christian faith to the recent attacks on temples.
Even as Jagan Mohan Reddy alleged that temples were being attacked by political party workers from the opposition camps only to vilify his government, he also took to performing the bhoomi pooja for the reconstruction of nine temples that were demolished in Vijayavada in 2016 as part of developmental works during Krishna Pushkaram (festival of River Krishna). Since the demolitions occurred during the rule of Chandrababu Naidu, by performing the ground-breaking ceremony of such temples, Reddy projected himself as the CM who was undoing the anti-Hindu activities of his predecessor.
The chief minister’s two-day gala schedule revolving around Hindu temples was to remind the public of the doings of Chandrababu Naidu, who is now working overtime to project himself as the sole messiah of Hindus in Andhra Pradesh. Jagan Mohan Reddy continues to shift the ire directed towards him unto Chandrababu Naidu, as if the former chief minister is to be held accountable for the alleged 140 temple attacks which Andhra Pradesh has seen since Reddy took over the top post in 2019.