Chandrababu Naidu claims Centre conspired to take over Tirumala temple

Tirumala temple is highly revered by devotees and also gets a huge amount of donations each year.

Chandrababu Naidu claims Centre conspired to take over Tirumala temple
File photo courtesy Twitter/@ncbn

New Delhi: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday accused the central government of having conspired to take over controls of the Tirumala temple.

News agency ANI reported that Naidu, while addressing a public meeting in Chittoor, claimed that the central government had wanted to manage affairs at the highly-revered temple but it is he who ensured their plans did not succeed. "We will not let any conspiracy against the Tirumala temple be successful. The Centre tried to take the temple under their control. We will not let such conspiracies turn into reality. I survived an extremist attack in 2003 only because of Lord Balaji`s blessings. I won`t let the sanctity of the temple of Lord Balaji tampered," he was quoted as saying.

Naidu's Telegu Desam Party (TDP) and the central government have had a tumultuous relationship in the last few months over the issue of granting special status to the state of Andhra Pradesh. Accusations have been traded and Naidu walked out of the NDA block over the matter. On Thursday, he once again raked up the issue and said that he and the people of Andhra had been betrayed. "The Central government has betrayed our state in the matter of Special Category Status. Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged SCS to Andhra Pradesh at the feet of Lord Balaji," he said. "As a Chief Minister, I went to Delhi and asked for special status and funds for state development. But they did not give it."

Naidu has, in recent times, been seen hobnobbing with prominent faces of opposition parties like Congress and AAP. He was even one of the several high-profile politicians at the swearing in of HD Kumaraswamy as CM of Karnataka - a show of intent, many say, that he has indeed parted ways with the BJP.