Amaravati, Sep 24 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers have demanded the sacking of state Civil Supplies Minister, Kodali Venkateshwara Rao, on Thursday for his comments on Narendra Modi and Yogi Adityanath in connection with the BJP pointing a finger at Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy for attending the Brahmostavams without his wife.
“Kodali Nani (Venkateshwara Rao) has abused Hindu deities, Prime Minister Modi and UP CM Yogi,” claimed Rajya Sabha Member and BJP national spokesperson G. V. L. Narasimha Rao.
He questioned Reddy that whether he will wait till Nani abuses Modi 100 times like Nara Chandrababu Naidu to buy his own downfall or sack him?
On Wednesday, Nani castigated a range of opposition leaders from the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) to the BJP from Tirumala.
He said there should be no hindrance like a faith declaration signature for visitors who descend on the Lord Venkateswara temple in Tirumala.
“Many devotees come from across the world to visit Lord Venkateshwara and we should not create hurdles for them such as demanding a faith declaration endorsement,” said Nani while waiting for Reddy to arrive at Tirumala from the Renigunta airport.
The firebrand YSRCP leader said people should not ask visitors into which caste they were born? Which religion they belong to?
Nani said these kinds of barriers should not be created.
“Today, parties are not even sparing Lord Venkateshwara to derive political dividends. This loathsome culture of using deities for votes has emerged,” he claimed.
Though Nani was not very clear when the faith declaration endorsement rule was instituted in Tirumala for non-Hindu visitors, he said there should be a debate on this practice and it must be done away with to deprive the political parties aiming to take mileage from this issue.
Venting his ire on TDP supremo Nara Chandrababu Naidu, the leader from Gudivada in Krishna district reminded the world that he went to church and read scriptures from the book of Psalms in the holy Bible.
“He sang Psalm 23. You all must have seen, he got 23 seats. Reddy did not go anywhere and sing Psalms,” claimed Nani.
Nani said a person like Reddy took oath as the Chief Minister of AP to honour all castes and religions alike.
“Reddy told people not to link him to any caste or religion. He is a person with secular ideals. Reddy said he will respect everybody’s sentiments,” he said.
Nani said the temple authorities who invited Reddy were not demanding a faith declaration nor the devotees but some vested interests in the form of political parties and some godmen.
“Tirumala temple is not restricted to two parties or devotees. Even I am a devotee of Lord Venkateshwara. My name is also Sri Venkateshwara. Every year I come and offer my hair and get tonsured,” he claimed.
The minister said he has greater faith on the Tirumala deity and God than the TDP and BJP leaders together.
“Unlike others, we don’t claim that we are the only guardians of Hinduism. What are these dramas from BJP and TDP. To avoid these kinds of politics, there should be no rule such as demanding a faith declaration,” claimed Nani.
Training his guns on BJP leaders who allegedly demanded that Reddy should have attended the Brahmostavams with his wife, Nani attacked them that first Modi and Adityanath should set such an example.
“First tell Modi to go to the place where the Ram temple foundation stone was laid with his wife like Lord Shiva and Parvati and Lord Venkateshwara and Padmavati. BJP should tell him to be an example to the country. They don’t do that,” he retaliated on BJP.
He questioned that whether Adityanath or Modi take their wives to the temples.
“For the great things Modi does, nobody wants to criticize him but because of the behaviour of the lower rung BJP leaders, even Modi is not being spared with discussions about his wife,” he said.
Nani said he does not want any controversy at the TTD and only raised these issues because the opposition disrespected the CM.