Chittoor (Andhra Pradesh) [India], September 23 (ANI): The supporters of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) protested against the removal of the practice of declaration (of religion) in Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) in Chittoor district on Wednesday.
Raising their protests against the Andhra Pradesh government and state chief minister, Jaganmohan Reddy, the protesters alleged that the present government went against the norm which was not acceptable, as the practice of declaration for non-Hindus had been followed for years.
Earlier, it was mandatory for non-Hindus to give a declaration before visiting the temple.
Earlier on September 20, TTD Trust Board chairman YV Subba Reddy gave his clarification that anyone can visit the Tirupati Balaji Temple without a declaration.
According to Reddy, he did not say that the declaration rule for followers of other religions who come to visit Lord Balaji temple need not be implemented.
A meeting of the TTD trust board was held to discuss the arrangements of forthcoming Brahmotsavams.
Following this, some news reports came up that the TTD chairman YV Subba Reddy while addressing the media where he said that people of other religions, who are willing to visit the temple, need not submit the declaration but they can visit the Almighty with all devotion.
Later, Reddy issued a statement regarding the matter.
"Thousands of devotees come from all over the world every day to Tirumala with belief in Lord Balaji. 80,000 to 1 lakh devotees throng the temple on festival days and other auspicious days. There will be many people of other religions in such pilgrims. What I said was that we cannot ask all such people for declaration," read the statement given by Reddy.
"In fact, I declined to speak about politics during the press meet after yesterday's meeting. But media personnel kept on asking me to give an explanation as the opposition party leader had made some allegations on TTD matters. Then only I spoke of these matters," it added.
He further said, "I only said that... Sonia Gandhi and late Chief Minister Dr YS Rajasekhar Reddy did not give any such declaration when they had visited the temple and offered prayers. So, present Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy also need not give any declaration." (ANI)