Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh) [India], January 3 (ANI): Andhra Pradesh Endowments Minister Velampalli Srinivasa Rao on Saturday attacked former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu over his attacks on the government over vandalisation of Lord Ram idol at a temple at Ramateertham in Vizianagaram district and said he had started using "religion card" after "caste card" did not work.
He alleged that Naidu was behind the vandalisation of Lord Ram idol. He also alleged that temples got demolished when Naidu was chief minister.
"Was it not Chandrababu as a chief minister who had demolished 40 temples at the time of Pushkarams for Krishna river? He is the betrayer of Hinduism. It is Naidu who is behind the vandalisation of Ram idol. And now he is now shedding crocodile tears. It was the same Naidu who had demolished 'go-shala' (cow shelter) near Durga temple in Vijayawada. He has no devotion or fear of Gods," the minister alleged.
Rao alleged said that Naidu used "caste card to sling mud on the state government and when it did not work then he started using religion card".
"Attacks on temples have been taking place in the state. I got records from the police. It is not true that such incidents are taking place only after YSRCP came to power. According to records, 291 such incidents took place in 2015, 322 in 2016, 319 in 2017, 267 in 2018, 305 in 2019 and 342 in 2020," he said.
"We are concerned about temple administration. Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government had distributed lands of temples to private people for resorts. Now we are getting those lands back. We are safeguarding the temple lands."
"We will take stern action in all cases of vandalism of temples, chariot burning cases etc. We will safeguard the temples. Our investigation in Ramateertham incident is going on. Some suspects have been arrested. It is not correct to say that a party's workers are targeted and arrested," he added.
The idol of Lord Ram was allegedly desecrated at Ramateertham in Vizianagaram district here on December 29 after which a group of BJP workers staged a protest at the temple premises. (ANI)