Andhra Pradesh

Ashok Gajapathi Raju’s family to stay away from Sirimanotsavam

Devotees offering prayers to the ‘Siri Manu’ at Hukumpet in Vizianagaram on Monday.  

Former Union Minister Pusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju’s family has decided to stay away from the direct participation in the ‘Sirimanotsavam’, scheduled to be organised on Tuesday. Mr. Ashok used to offer prayers on the occasion of ‘Tolellu’ and the Sirimanotsavam of Pyditalli Ammavaru till last year when he was the chairperson of the MANSAS Trust.

The deity is believed to be the incarnation of Pydimamba who, the legends says, had sacrificed her life by jumping into the Pedda Cheruvu after hearing the death news of her brother Peda Vijayarama Gajapathi Raju in the Bobbili war in 1757.

MANSAS Trust row

Mr. Ashok and his family members are unhappy with the reported priority being given to MANSAS Trust chairperson Sanchaita Gajapathi Raju, daughter of Uma Gajapathi Raju, the first wife of Mr. Ashok’s elder brother late Ananda Gajapathi Raju. Ms. Sanchaita offered prayers at the Pyditalli Ammavaru temple on Monday morning.

“I would have a virtual darshan. I am not expecting any special respect from the temple authorities. As per tradition, the male heir of the Pusapati royal family used to play a key role in the Sirimanotsavam and the temple affairs,” Mr. Ashok told the media here.

The appointment of Sanchaita Gajapathi Raju the MANSAS Trust chairperson and the removal of Mr. Ashok from the post without any prior notice may have an affect on the festival.

Mr. Ashok, along with his wife Suneela Gajapathi Raju and daughter Aditi Gajapathi Raju, would watch the the Sirimanotsavam from the Vizianagaram fort every year. However, they would not participate this year, even as they have got an invitation from the temple authorities.

Meanwhile, the State government haws made all arrangements for the festival. Usually, around 3 lakh people from different parts of the State participate in the event every year. But this time, the devotees will be not be allowed to take part in the festival, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Collector M. Hari Jawaharlal on Modnay went to Hukumpet where the ‘Siri Manu’ was being decorated. Visakhapatnam Range DIG L.V.K. Ranga Rao, SP B. Rajakumari said that the restrictions would remain in force till the end of the festival.

The APSRTC has not been allowed to operate buses from other places this time. The district administration has also asked the residents not to allow anyone to watch the Sirimanotsavam from their establishments.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2020 7:16:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/ashok-gajapathi-rajus-family-to-stay-away-from-sirimanotsavam/article32948523.ece

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