Telugu Desam Party (TDP) national president and principal opposition leader in Andhra Pradesh, N. Chandrababu Naidu, on Thursday termed the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government’s statements on the Ramateertham issue as ‘dangerous thinking’.
He said the government is allegedly doing this with an ulterior motive to terrify and suppress the voice of the opposition cadres and the general public.
In December last year, unidentified miscreants had cut off the head of the Lord Ram’s idol at the Ramateertham hilltop temple in Nellimarla village in Vizianagaram district, which triggered a massive controversy with the opposition parties accusing the ruling party of allegedly ignoring the temples’ safety and security.
Naidu also condemned the arrest of party member Kala Venkatrao on Wednesday, asserting that he was a non-controversial leader with 40 years of experience.
“The government’s attitude is dangerous as it wants all the opponents to either kill themselves or get killed by criminals under suspicious circumstances,” Naidu claimed.
Training his guns on the police department, the TDP supremo demanded that Director General of Police (DGP) Gautam Sawang should explain what crime did Venkatrao commit.
“False cases have been filed against TDP leaders in the name of attack on an MP’s car. The DGP should explain why no preventive steps are taken nor any cases are filed against the YSRCP MP,” Naidu said.
He added that it is high time for Sawang to follow the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and safeguard the rights of the people, and not follow the ‘Jagan Reddy Penal Code’.
“If the DGP cannot overcome pressure from the ruling YSRCP leaders to implement the rule of law, he should resign and go home. The government is just daydreaming that the TDP leaders could be suppressed with fabricated cases and false arrests,” the former Chief Minister said.
Naidu also claimed that there is no proper response from the CM or the DGP despite the sawing away of Lord Ram’s idols and 150 alleged temple attacks.
“The DGP should at least respect his uniform. Otherwise he should quit expressing his inability to stop the atrocities,” Naidu said.
Meanwhile, the opposition leader welcomed the high court order to conduct rural local body elections and said that the YSRCP leaders should realise that judges may change, but justice will remain.
“They resorted to election irregularities which is why 27 per cent unanimous results were seen in the MPTC and ZPTC elections. The fake CM and his party leaders are trying to use rowdyism to terrify and suppress all sections of voters,” Naidu alleged.
He also asked Sawang how permission to the ‘dharma parirakshana yatra’ could be cancelled on Thursday after granting it on Wednesday.
Currently, a huge controversy is raging in the southern state over the alleged attacks on temples. While the YSRCP is blaming the TDP for these incidents, the latter is accusing the YSRCP of not protecting the temples and being lax about their safety.
Several alleged temples attack cases have emerged in the past six months, compelling the government to form a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to crack them.
The police are also focusing on people who are peddling fake news on temple attacks, resulting in some journalists and other social media users getting arrested for their alleged propaganda.