In view of Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy visit to Tirumala, several BJP and TDP leaders have been kept under house arrest.
The BJP and TDP leaders demanded that Jagan Mohan Reddy sign a declaration form. They demanded that the Chief Minister be allowed to enter the Tirumala shrine only after submitting the declaration form. A posse of police personnel was deployed outside the residence of former TDP MLA Sugunamma. Angry TDP leaders protested the police action to keep Sugunamma under house arrest. Further, the TDP leaders demanded that the government follow the age old tradition laid down during the British regime to declare one’s faith before entering the Tirumala shrine. They wondered why Jagan visits Tirumala shrine by himself, while his entire family accompanies him when he visits Jerusalem.
TTD chairman YV Subba Reddy, who is also Jagan Mohan Reddy’s uncle, stirred a Hornet’s nest by stating that there is no need for the chief minister to sign a declaration to prove his faith in Lord Venkateswara.
” Former President APJ Abdul Kalam and AICC chief Sonia Gandhi also signed the declaration during their visit to Tirumala. Only on declaring faith in Lord Venkateshwara will a person from another faith be allowed inside,” they demanded. The TDP leaders alleged that attacks on Hindu temples, like the burning of chariots and stealing of idols, were going on unabated in the state in the last more than one year rule of Jagan Mohan Reddy. “The government had failed to take any concrete measures to protect the temples from attacks, the Centre should intervene to safeguard the sanctity of temples and uphold the sentiments of Hindus and people of other religions,” the TDP leaders said.
Earlier, TDP president and former chief minister Chandrababu Naidu had criticized the TTD Board’s decision not to demand a declaration of religion from Jagan Mohan Reddy during his visit to the Lord Venkateswara shrine at Tirumala.