Tirupati: Advertisements of Jerusalem yatra and Haj pilgrimage on bus tickets in the temple town of Tirupati have sparked a row with the BJP demanding action against those responsible for what it calls hurting the sentiments of Hindus.
BJP leaders and workers on Friday staged a protest at the office of the regional manager of the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) and raised slogans against the corporation officials. They said the sentiments of Hindus should be respected.
Some pilgrims at a bus station in Tirupati noticed the advertisement on the back of tickets while travelling to Tirumala and brought this to the attention of the authorities. The APSRTC officials have clarified that some tickets carrying advertisements of pilgrimage of other religions reached Tirupati by mistake and they were immediately withdrawn.
The advertisements from the minorities department are about the facilities being provided to Christian pilgrims going to Jerusalem and to Muslims undertaking the Haj pilgrimage. The BJP leaders said this hurt the sentiments of Hindus and demanded action against those responsible.
Meanwhile, BJP's lone MLA in Telangana Raja Singh also raised the issue and said no other religion can be propagated in Tirupati as it is a Hindu religious place. He said if the incident had come to the notice of the chief minister, he should immediately take action.
Thousands of Hindu pilgrims from various parts of the country visit Balaji temple located atop the Tirumala hills. A couple of days ago the BJP leaders criticised Chief Minister Jagan Reddy for insulting Hindus by refusing to light a lamp at an event in the US. They said Jagan Reddy, who is a Christian, visited temples on the eve of elections only to garner Hindu votes.
Ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) rubbished the allegations saying safety rules in the US do not permit lighting of traditional oil and wick lamps especially in auditoriums. They claimed that there was an electric lamp at the event attended by the chief minister.