Telangana Chief Minister, K Chandrashekar Rao in a controversial move, has allotted two acres of government land to Sri Saradha Peetham for the establishment of a Saakha Peetham in Hyderabad. KCR is known to be an ardent follower of the Sarada Peetham seer Swami Swaroopanandendra Saraswati and considers him to be his spiritual guru.
According to a government order, the land is situated in Kokapet village in Gandipet mandal and can fetch a basic market price of Rs 1.5 crore per acre. However, the land, classified as āporambokuā, has been given to Sarada Peetham at a nominal rate of Re 1 per acre.
At a Pushpabhishekham ceremony held in Kokapet on Wednesday, Chief Minister KCR felicitated Sarada Peetham seers Swami Swaroopanandendra Saraswati and Peetham Uttaradhikari Swatmanandendra Saraswati Maha Swamy. KCR, along with his cabinet colleagues, attended the ceremony, presented fruits and garlanded the two heads of the Sarada Peetham. He then formally handed over the orders allotting the government land to the seers.
Located in Visakhapatnam, the Sarada Peetham seers are followers of Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya. The proposed Saakha Peetham at Kokapet comprises of a temple complex, a bhasha goshti matham, Sanskrit educational institutions and students' residential accommodation, bhojana shala for students with kitchen and a convention hall.
The move to allocate land to a religious institution has invited much criticism. Since itās government land, people are questioning KCR's decision to hand over the land almost free of cost purely based on his personal religious beliefs.
It is to be noted that KCR had introduced newly elected Andhra CM Jagan Mohan Reddy to Swami Swaroopanandendra Saraswati and the latter too is a follower of the seer. In fact, Jagan had met the seer before deciding on his cabinet. Swami Swaroopanandendra Saraswati thus enjoys the patronage of the CMs of both Telugu states.
Meanwhile, on Thursday morning, KCR held a inaugural ceremony for the construction of a new Secretariat and Assembly in Hyderabad. The new Secretariat will be built at the cost of existing heritage structures at Errum Manzil. Activists and leaders protesting against the construction were detained at the Secretariat.
The new Secretariat and Assembly will be constructed at an estimated total cost of Rs 500 crore, Rs 400 crore for Secretariat and Rs 100 crore for Assembly.