AP CM Jagan Mohan Reddy took serious note orders CBI probing in the sensitive issue.

VIJAYAWADA :  On the intervening night of Saturday-Sunday last week, a wooden chariot belonging to Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple in Antarvedi town in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh was burned to ashes.

It was initially thought to be an accidental’ fire but this chariot fire – the reason of which is still not know – has put the ruling YSRCP government in a tight spot since that day. The issue took a serious religious and fiery political turn since that day.

“We are demanding CBI investigation not only in this case but also in 20 other cases since the YSRCP government took over continuous attacks on religious places and also on priests,” thundered Chandrababu Naidu, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president and opposition leader.

This is not an isolated incident but ever since YS Jagan Mohan Reddy took over as Chief Minister, there have been a series of disturbing incidents that are communally sensitive followed by controversial allegations. 

However, the YSR Congress Party says there is a concerted effort to bring disrepute to the state government.

We will crack this particular case within the next few days. We will get to know whether it was done deliberately by someone or was an accident. Our government is very sensitive when it comes to feelings of everyone no matter which religion they follow,” informs Vellampally Srinivas, endowments minister, Andhra Pradesh.

Special police teams under DIG, Eluru, KV Mohan Rao are working on this case and the state government has already suspended the temple’s Executive Officer.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party, its ally Janasena Party and other Hindu religious organisations have been actively keeping this “chariot burning” issue alive. There’s a heavy police presence, numbering nearly 1000, in and around Antarvedi town to thwart any untoward incident since Sunday. 

“We are not allowed to do protests. Our people are being confined to house arrests. We condemn the attitude of the ruling government,” says Somu Veera Raju, BJP Andhra Pradesh.

Popular film star and president of Jana Sena Party (an ally of BJP) Pavan Kalyan has asked women in Andhra Pradesh to light diyas. “From 5.30 pm to 6.30 pm tomorrow (Friday), I request all the women in Andhra Pradesh to light diyas in front of their respective homes to highlight religious harmony.”

Coming under severe religious and political pressure, the ruling YSRCP government has also announced that it will make a same chariot at the cost of Rs one crore approximately before February 2021. The old wooden chariot which was nearly 60 years old was made of teak wood and was used in every main festival of the temple.

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