Several Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in Andhra Pradesh have castigated Tirumala Triupati Devasthanams (TTD) chief priest A.V. Ramana Deekshitulu for giving a divine allusion to Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy recently.
After being reinstated as the chief priest of the Tirumala temple following the state government's decision to induct retired priests of Mirasi families, Deekshitulu allegedly equated the act to saving of Dharma by Lord Vishnu. He indirectly hailed the Chief Minister as one among the 'Trimurthis' keen to protect Dharma.
"It is an irresponsible and insensitive statement by (the) chief priest of Tirupati Balaji temple. It's an insult to millions of devotees of Lord Vishnu," said BJP state president Somu Veerraju.
He alleged that the state government has become 'fully' anti-Hindu and claimed that Reddy's silence reaffirms this point.
BJP national secretary and Andhra Pradesh co-incharge Sunil Deodhar alleged that Deekshitulu removed the sanctity of the TTD's chief priest post.
"Ramana Dikshitulu, by calling an on-bail CM an incarnation of Vishnu, you have insulted the God himself and crores of his devotees. With your boot-licking of an anti-Hindu family, you removed the sanctity of the pradhan archak's post in TTD," claimed Deodhar.
Likewise, BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member G.V.L. Narasimha Rao termed likening Reddy to Lord Vishnu as sacrilegious.
"Statements likening Reddy to Lord Vishnu by the chief priest of Tirupati Balaji temple is not just objectionable, but also sacrilegious. It seems a desperate YSRCP government under which several Hindu temples and idols have been attacked is orchestrating such statements by coercing the priests," Rao claimed.