YSR Congress chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy’s visit to Lord Tirupati Venkateswara temple has sparked a controversy with rival TDP and Congress leaders alleging that despite being a non-Hindu,he did not give a mandatory declaration to authorities about his faith in God.
Senior TDP leader Dadi Veerabhadra Rao contended the Kadapa MP,being a Christian,should have given the mandatory declaration during his visit yesterday to Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD),which manages the affairs of the shrine,that he has faith and respect for the Lord.
“Jagan has hurt the sentiments of devotees by not giving such a declaration,” Rao claimed. He also took exception to the number of followers accompanying Jagan at the highly-sacred temple.
Dismissing the allegations,YSR Congress spokesperson Ambati Rambabu said Jagan had visited the shrine earlier too and the allegations were aimed at gaining political mileage in the byelections scheduled to be held next month.
When asked about Jagan’s supporters raising slogans like ‘Jai Jagan’ at the temple premises,which is prohibited,Rambabu claimed the slogan was in fact raised by a devotee standing in the queue and was not part of the Kadapa MP’s group.
Meanwhile,TTD executive officer L V Subrahmanyam said those accompanying Jagan were told about the declaration prior to the darshan but they refused to give the undertaking.
“They (Jagan’s supporters) gave two explanations for the refusal. First,that this was not his first visit but second. Secondly,his father (late chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy) had presented ‘vasthrams’ to the Lord. How come his son is not admitted for darshan?” he said.
Subrahmanyam said he was “not empowered to stop someone from darshan”,but would “inquire on how so many of his supporters went inside with him in the shrine”.