Staff Reporter

`Continued interference' with running of temples is the provocation'

HYDERABAD: At their wits' end after a protracted 15-year-old struggle against the "anti-agama" 30/87 legislation, the Andhra Pradesh Archaka Samakhya is gearing up for a 48-hour siege to the offices of the Endowments Department from 10 a.m. on April 26, resenting its "continued interference" with the administration of the 32,000-odd temples in the State.

"We have Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy his entire Cabinet and most MLAs on our side. Still, the file on amendments to the AP Charitable and Hindu Religious Institutions and Endowments Act, 1987 is stationery. It is missing because of the power wielded by a few officers," Samakhya vice-president M.V. Soundararajan told a press conference here on Sunday.

He said archakas were vexed with the interference in the running of temples. Due to its lopsided policies even basic `sevas' in thousands of temples had come to a halt.

Interestingly, temples of Shridi Sai Baba and Kanyaka Parameswari have been exempted by the legislation, according to the samakhya.