Amaravati : Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday asked a barrage of questions regarding a series of attacks on temples in the state, hinting at a conspiracy to brand his government " anti-Hindu".
"Who benefits from breaking God's idols? Who will benefit from the crimes in temples and religious places? Who will benefit by inflaming the passions of people and resorting to violence? Who will benefit by propaganda hurting the public faith and poisonous propaganda?" he asked.
Highlighting a pattern in the attacks, Reddy said attacks were occurring when ' prestigious welfare programmes' were afoot.
The politics rivals were not even sparing God to reap dividends, he said.
Reddy found the pattern working regarding attacks on nine temples occurring as some mega welfare schemes were unrolled.
On November 14, 2019 when the Nadu-Nedu scheme, intending to measure up government schools to corporate schools, was launched, reports emerged of a temple being desecrated in Guntur.
"Going to some far off deserted place or village, sometime in the midnight, they go to a small temple and break idols and the next day they publicise it on the social media and the opposition leaders go there to politicise while the yellow media exaggerates it," he said.
Reports said of Idols were broken in Pithapuram within a week of setting up a price stabilisation fund worth Rs 3,000 crore on January 15, 2020, CM said.
A few days later on February 11, 2020 another incident was reported from Rompicherla when the government inaugurated Disha police station for women.
In another incident on September 5, 2020, a decades old chariot belonging to the Antarvedi Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple got gutted, just as the government launched a scheme to supply nutritious food.
The Chief Minister blamed media outlets aligning to opposition parties drumming up incidents diverting public attention from welfare schemes.
He termed it as a bid to communally tarnish his party that captured power for the first time, almost 10 years after its launch.
He suggested that the police think why such activities are occurring, who is behind them and who is targeting whom.
Reddy observed that people are living amidst in an era when lies are peddled through the social media.
Most of the time, these crimes would first go viral on social media, followed by the mainstream media reporting them, he said.
"The society has deteriorated to such an extent that nobody fears or respects God. For the sake of politics, even God is not being spared. God is also being brought to politics and with God politics, some people are aiming to benefit and we are going to the climax of kalyug," he alleged.
Likening these attacks to "guerrilla warfare tactics", Reddy attacked Telugu Desam Party President N. Chandrababu Naidu for "making all efforts to spin these incidents into political and religion issues in a state not known for religious divide".
Devulapalli Amar, national media and inter-state affairs advisor to AP government said one or two incidents of temple attacks could be termed as stray incidents but regular attacks point at a definite conspiracy.
He said Reddy took up the attacks very seriously and an additional DGP rank officer was appointed to review all these incidents and bring the conspirators to book.
IANS report with edits