Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao has done it again. Despite being criticised on multiple occasions for splurging taxpayer money on Gods and godmen, he has made yet another massive donation from the state’s coffers.
On Wednesday morning, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) offered gold ornaments worth Rs 5 crore to Lord Balaji and a nose-stud worth Rs 45,000 to Goddess Padmavati, both revered deities at Tirupati.
The offerings have cost the state exchequer and taxpayers a whopping Rs 5 crore.
This offering was just another part of KCR's promise during the Telangana agitation, to make offerings to the Gods if statehood was granted.
Here is the Government Order that sanctions the amount of Rs 5 crore from the Endowments Department for the ornaments, which inlude a 'Saligrama Haram' and 'Makara Kanthi'.
Almost the entire Telangana government descended on the temple town in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday.
The Chief Minister, along with his family members, ministers and top officials arrived via two special aircrafts for the 'thanksgiving' trip to the Tirumala temple.
This is KCR's first visit to the famous Tirumala temple after he became the first Chief Minister of newly created Telangana state in 2014.
On his arrival at Renigunta Airport, the Telangana Chief Minister was accorded a warm welcome by B Gopalakrishna Reddy, a minister in Andhra Pradesh cabinet and some MLAs of ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP).
Later, KCR, his wife Shobha, daughter and TRS MP K Kavitha and other family members reached Tirupati by road. Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) officials received him at guest house, where he made a night halt.
Telangana Assembly speaker Madhusudhana Chary, Chief Secretary SP Singh and Chief Advisor Rajiv Sharma were also present, along with minister Harish Rao.
The opposition has criticised the CM for spending such an exorbitant amount, with many questioning if it was right to spend the public's money for a personal vow.
“First of all, it is against the constitutional norms to spend public money on religious beliefs. Secondly, he had taken the vow in his individual capacity. When he took the vow, the formation of Telangana was not anticipated, let alone KCR becoming the chief minister. How would KCR have fulfilled his vow had he not become the chief minister?” Telangana Congress spokesman Dasoju Sravan had asked earlier.
It is interesting to note that the Telangana unit of the TDP stayed relatively quiet, as Andhra ministers and senior TDP leaders approved of KCR's move.
In April last year, the chief minister offered gold ornaments worth Rs 5 crore, also from the state exchequer to Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala.
In October last year, he presented a 11.7 kg gold crown that was worth over Rs 3 crore, to Goddess Bhadrakali at Warangal, on the occasion of Durga Navratri.
In December 2015, the chief minister drew flak from all quarters, after he conducted a 'Ayutha Chandi Maha Yagam,' to please the gods. The yagam took place at his 120-acre farmhouse at Erravalli village in Telangana's Medak district, even as the state was reeling through a severe agrarian crisis, with farmers killing themselves just three kms away.