Tirumala: TTD officials give Christian MP Jagan Reddy VIP treatment – Times of India

Jagan Mohan ReddyTirumala: There was disquiet atop the Seven Hills on Wednesday with Jaganmohan Reddy entering the shrine of Lord Balaji without signing the formal declaration about his belief in the Lord, which is mandatory for non-Hindus. While believers lambasted Jagan, a Christian for hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) top brass was left red-faced.

What is worse, followers of Jagan raised slogans of ‘Jai Jagan’ just as they were entering the main entrance of the temple during the VIP break darshan in the morning. There were more than 60 members in his entourage which was in violation of temple rules which do not allow more than 10 members along with the VIP. TTD organized a VIP darshan for Jagan, who is an MP. But when Jagan was approached by the temple authorities for a signature on the form on Tuesday evening he refused to do so. When Jagan entered the temple around 7 am on Wednesday the Sahastra Kalashabhishekam special puja was being performed, but a TTD superintendent again requested him to sign the declaration form. But, the young leader again refused and waited along with his followers at the Ranganayakula mandapam till the puja was over.

YSR taking communion from a Christian priest.“The Agama rules do not impose any such condition, but non-Hindu devotees must sign a declaration form which says that they believe in Lord Govinda,” Tirumala Tirupati temple peshkar (administrative officer) Chandrasekhar Pillai told TOI. TTD rules, however, prescribe that non-Hindus need not sign these declaration forms every time they visit but sign at least once in their lifetime.

Jagan reportedly argued that when he had come down to Tirumala in 2009 with his father, the then chief minister, he had not filled any form. “Why should I sign the forms now? I had darshan at that time,” Jagan argued with the officials.

The authorities gave up in the face of persistent refusals and allowed Jagan to have the darshan of the Lord. Karunakar Reddy, a former TTD chairman and follower of Jagan came to the defence of his leader. “Why is the TTD targeting us? They did not make Congress president Sonia Gandhi sign on the form when she visited the temple five years ago,” he remarked.

Lotus PondTTD executive officer L V Subramanyam tried to put up a brave front saying that Jagan must have refused to sign as he had visited the temple earlier. But temple authorities were evasive when asked why they allowed Jagan to have darshan of the Lord without completing the mandatory formalities. “Thousands of pilgrims visit the temple and we have no way of knowing the religious affiliations of all the visitors. However, in case of VIPs who are non-Hindus, our authorities approach them to sign the form. Jagan is a Christian and so, they had approached him,” joint executive officer K S Srinivasa Raju told TOI. But temple protection samithi activists and BJP workers cried foul. BJP leader NVSS Prabhakar flayed TTD for allowing Jagan to enter the temple by violating Hindu traditions and temple rules. “Late YSR had no sentiments for Hinduism. He even tried to build a church in Tirumala. Jagan is showing the same disrespect,” TDP leader Dadi Veerabhadra Rao alleged.

The top priority VIP darshan accorded to Jagan also created an uproar. TTD has recently restricted quota passes to just 10 for each VIP. “Taking 10 or 15 persons including the family is understandable. But taking along 65 members is a clear violation,” rued TDP MLA Gali Muddukrishnama Naidu. Apart from Karunakar Reddy, former TTD ex-officio member Chevireddy Bhaskar Reddy, actress Roja, YSR Congress leader Amabati Rambabu and several others accompanied Jagan. – Times of India, Hyderabad, 3 May 2012

Action sought against Jaganmohan over Tirupati visit, YSR party hits back

YSR at TirumalaA day after YSR Congress party leader Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy’s visit to Tirumala temple kicked up a row, leaders of Andhra Pradesh’s ruling Congress and opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Thursday demanded action against him for flouting temple rules.

The leaders of both the parties accused Jaganmohan Reddy, a Christian, of showing disrespect to other religions and disturbing the sanctity of the Balaji temple.

YSR Congress party hit back at TDP, questioning its secular credentials and said it was for the temple authorities to judge who should file a declaration.

Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member V. Hanumantha Rao has set a week’s deadline for the government to take action against the MP from Kadapa. “If the government fails to take action against him, I will sit on silent protest at the temple,” he said.

Rao alleged that Jagan, as Jaganmohan Reddy is popularly known, was behaving like an extra-constitutional authority.

“He is displaying his arrogance even before the God,” he said and found fault with the government for keeping quiet.

Another Congress leader and legislator P. Sudhakar Reddy demanded that both the government and the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), which manages the affairs of India’s richest temple, to order a probe.

Jagan on Wednesday visited the temple but refused to sign the register kept for the non-Hindu visitors. Before entering the temple, non-Hindus have to sign a register declaring faith in Lord Venkateshwara.

According to TTD officials, the son of late chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy argued that as he had visited the temple and signed the register in 2009, there was no need for him to sign again.

He also reminded them that his father visited the temple several times and also offered silk clothes and gifts to the deity on behalf of the state government.

Executive officer of the TTD L.V. Subramanyam said it was being ascertained whether it was necessary to sign the declaration every time a person visited the temple.

TDP leader and former minister S. Chandramohan Reddy alleged that Jagan had no respect for other religions.

He alleged Jagan desecrated the sacred place as the people accompanying him raised slogans of “Jai Jagan”.

State Endowments Minister C. Ramachandraiah found fault with Jagan’s supporters causing disturbance in the temple. He told reporters that those visiting the temples should come with the faith in God and not with any political motives.

He said there was a ban on campaigning on the hills and raising slogans. However, no action could be taken against those not following the tradition and raising political slogans as there was no legislation in this regard.

Rahul Gandhi at TirumalaMeanwhile, the YSR Congress party hit back at TDP questioning its secular credentials and alleging that it was trying to whip up religious, caste and other sensitive issues.

“Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has visited Tirumala for over 15 times by now and objections, if any, should have been raised by the concerned officials and not TDP,” party spokesperson Jupudi Prabhakar Rao told reporters here.

“It is not for the TDP leader to judge who should file a declaration and why as TTD has official machinery and the state government monitors the functioning of the temple. Should Chandrababu Naidu and his followers raise the issue they will attract the penal provisions of the Representation of People Act 1951,” he said.

He termed TDP’s criticism on Jagan’s temple visit as an assault on the secular fabric of the country.

Prabhakar Rao accused the TDP chief of desperately trying to politicise the issue. He was confident that the people would teach a lesson to Naidu in June 12 by-elections to Tirupati and 17 other assembly seats and Nellore Lok Sabha seat. – India Today, 3 May 2012

3 Responses

  1. And where is Jaganmohan Reddy now ?


  2. The authorities impose several conditions and rules and even ill treat true Srivaishnavas who go for darshan along with the Ahobila Mutt Jeer in traditional attire. The atrocities of the authorities are only on innocent brahmins and does not work with Politial leaders because they expect many favours from them in return. In my opinion, all executives, office-bearers and chairman of the TTD trust must be only from Srivaishnavites and not any other religion, which will ensure proper functioning of the temple and maintenance of its sanctity.
    Om Sri Venkateshwaraya Namah.


  3. So Jesus doesn’t save after all!

    As for the flouting of rules at Tirumala to accommodate these Christian visitors, it is the temple officials who are solely to blame for the malpractice.


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