The Telangana government on Saturday directed the authorities of the Yadadri temple to remove images of Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao and all other political leaders which were carved on the pillars of the temple. All other images not associated with the temple or its history will be removed, informed officials.
The Chief Minister's special secretary gave the orders to Yadadri Temple Development Authority (YTDA) after strong protests by opposition parties and some right-wing groups.
Special Secretary to the Chief Minister K Bhoopal Reddy directed that except the symbols related to the god and the temple, no other symbols should be used in the development of Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple, also known as Yadadri temple.
According to the Chief Minister's Office (CMO), Reddy expressed anger at the way certain political leaders' illustrations and party symbols were carved in the structures.
YTDA Special Officer Kishan Rao and Art Director Ananda Sai reportedly told Bhoopal Reddy that the carvings of KCR, Indira Gandhi and Mahatma Gandhi and other symbols were engraved by one or two sculptors did this on their own.
The Chief Minister wanted pictures portraying the importance and greatness of the temple and spiritual pictures should be carved and engraved in the temple's vicinity. As part of this images of political leaders Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were sculptured on the pillars.
Cars (that happens to be the party symbol of TRS), cycles, scooters, rickshaw and even a group of children playing cricket were engraved. The flagship schemes of the TRS government were also sculpted on the pillars.
The orders came after opposition Congress, BJP and some right-wing Hindu groups staged protests at Yadadri, leading to tension around the hill shrine during the day. BJP state president K Laxman and other leaders tried to march towards the temple to protest the carving of the images of the CM and other political leaders. Congress leaders also tried to take out a rally but were prevented by the police.
K Laxman also visited the temple and demanded that his supporters be allowed to climb up the hill. The permission was however denied, reported TNIE. â€śKCR wants to glorify his family's history over Yadadri. Why is there a carving of a car (TRS official election symbol) on a temple pillar why there another with the image of Charminar?â€ť he asked.
The BJP's lone state legislator, Raja Singh, had visited the temple and warned that if the images of KCR and other leaders were not removed within a week, he would mobilise devotees from around the country at Yadadri. He warned that the government will be responsible for the consequences.
The opposition parties alleged that Chandrashekhar Rao was trying to portray himself as a god. They said he had hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus.
With IANS inputs