Raising his voice for the first time over the Opposition’s unrelenting criticism against the government for the spate of attacks on temples and other Hindu religious structures, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy dubbed it a form of ‘guerilla warfare’ by the divisive forces with a hidden agenda to defame the government.
Mr. Reddy expressed anguish throughout his address delivered after the virtual inauguration of IGNITE 2020, the 63rd Andhra Pradesh State Police Duty Meet here on Monday. As the four-day event is scheduled to deliberate on the ways and means to strengthen the department’s effective functioning on various fronts, the Chief Minister said the meet should also take up for discussion the ways to curtail such negative campaign and lies spread through the social media with a ‘political motive’. “The department should prepare itself to handle such political guerilla warfare,” he said in his address via web.
Expressing concern over the instances of defacement of religious structures being projected as ‘government’s failure’, he wondered how such events occurring at the dead of the night in private temples tucked somewhere in the hinterland or on the hilltop could be attributed to the government. Finding a pattern in the way the attacks had happened, he said all of them were timed around the launch of the State government’s prestigious welfare programmes, in an apparent bid to eclipse the ‘good news’.
Mr. Reddy cited over half a dozen instances when such destructive events propped up in the social media around the time some major scheme was launched. According to him, the hoax on Durga temple destruction in Guntur was floated during the launch of Nadu Nedu, desecration of statues in Pithapuram timed with the launch of price stabilisation scheme for farmers, defacing of statues in Rompicherla occurred ahead of Disha police station launch in Rajamahendravaram and Naidupet statue damage ahead of YSR Jalakala launch. “The serial lighting depicting ‘Poornakumbham’ at Tirumala temple was projected as a ‘cross’ when we started distributing 30 lakh house pattas. And when Jagan was scheduled to visit Vizianagaram district for the scheme, they defaced a statue 10 km away,” he said.
He cautioned the public to be wary of such elements who ‘neither have devotion, nor fear for God’.