TTD’s former chief priest Ramana Deekshitulu, had met Opposition leader Y S Jaganmohan Reddy in Hyderabad, when the latter returned home from his padayatra in West Godavari district. Deekshitulu is in the eye of the storm after his meeting with BJP’s chief Amit Shah, when the Chief Minister is fighting against the BJP. It was then the TDP government looked into his papers and found him beyond his retirement age and finally removed him from his post, retiring him.
Claiming to his priesthood is hereditary and has no retirement like a government job as the government’s service conditions and benefits are not given to them, Deekshitulu went on accusing the government of violating religious rituals and using more politics atop the hill. He went on to accuse the government of taking up excavations for hidden wealth in the kitchen (Potu) atop the hill, which hurt the sentiments of the devotees.
The ruling TDP and the TTD trust board had refuted these charges and saw BJP’s hand in the former priest levelling political allegations against the government. The TDP leaders were also hitting back at the priest and the BJP, while BJP senor leader Subrahmanya Swamy had taken up the issue to file a case in the Supreme Court. Subrahmanya Swamy’s intervention had given scope for the TDP to point an accusing finger at the BJP’s role in the temple row.
When the TDP was looking at the BJP to save its face from the onslaught, Deekshitulu’s meeting with Jaganmohan Reddy had given another chance to Chandrababu Naidu and his team to drag the YSR Congress chief into the row. A dozen Ministers from the Cabinet and the Chief Minister himself accused Jaganmohan Reddy behind Ramana Deekshitulu and thus diluted the intensity of the row. The TDP social media wing had tried to make the issue too light by twisting the priests visit to Jaganmohan Reddy linking their religious faith. While it has been a practice for the TDP to beat the rivals below the belt, they have now brought Jaganmohan Reddy’s Christian background and tried to made fun of Deekshitulu’s visit.
Jaganmohan Reddy is known for taking wrong decisions. His meeting with Deekshitulu is one such in the recent past. By giving an audience to Deekshitulu, he had given a chance to the TDP to target their attack from the BJP to the YSR Congress.