For the last few weeks, the Opposition parties, particularly the Telugu Desam Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party are trying to give communal colour to every decision taken by the YSR Congress party government in Andhra Pradesh led by chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy.
Whether it was issuance of bus tickets in Tirumala with advertisements related to Christianity, alleged proposal to rename Bhavani Islands as Mary Island, introduction of English medium in government schools and old videos of some Christian missionaries imitating Bhagawad Gita to praise Jesus Christ etc – have been attributed to Jagan.
Despite strong counters by the YSRC leaders and ministers, the TDP and BJP leaders have been able to take their allegations strongly into the people with the support of their media.
On Thursday, the YSRC leaders dug out the videos of TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu’s comments that allegedly hurt the sentiments of the Hindus.
In one video, Naidu was heard saying: “They are claiming that people won’t consume liquor if rates are increased. Similarly, they are denying people of having Tirumala Prasadam by enhancing the room rents and laddu rates.”
It is a clear case of Naidu hurting the sentiments of Hindus by correlating the rates of Tirumala laddu and liquor rates.
“How can increasing the liquor rate be compared to Tirumala Laddu price? It is not only nonsensical, but also blasphemous,” a YSRC leader said.
In another video dating back to the time when Naidu was the chief minister, he was seen attributing the fall in liquor consumption to Ayyappa Deeksha period.
“It is time for Ayyappa Deeksha for 40 days, when one can’t consume alcohol. As a result, consumption of liquor has come down,” Naidu said then, giving an impression that Ayyappa devotees are habituated to liquor consumption when they don’t practise Deeksha.