The Chandrababu Naidu led Andhra Pradesh government has decided to allocate Rs 5 crore for repairing Mosques in the state, the Hindu has reported. The minority affairs department has also been instructed by the government to deliver Ramzan Tohfa (Ramzan gift) to 12 lakh Muslim families. A New Indian Express report has claimed that the allocated Rs 5 crore would also be used to “organise Iftar” during the ongoing month of Ramzan.
Going by the reports, this announcement was made by Naidu himself during a meeting at Velagapudi on Friday. On the subject of the mosques, as per him the funds can be used for painting and making minor repairs on them.
In total, the Andhra government has allocated Rs 1,100 crore for minority welfare during the current financial budget, along with the assurance that all the outstanding promises would be fulfilled by the end of 2018.
Such a decision to allocate funds on religious lines comes after the Andhra government was famously accused of corruption, impropriety and mishandling of Temple affairs by the now ousted Chief Priest of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) – Ramana Dikshitulu.
Under the accusations, the erstwhile chief priest had directly accused Naidu and the officials appointed by him for the disappearance of jewels donated by devotees. As per a Zee News report, Naidu was also accused of misusing the temple funds.
These allegations also included the claim that there were various financial irregularities within the temple’s management. He was also reported as suspecting that the temple’s funds and jewellery were being misappropriated. One anecdote shared by him recounted that prior to 1996 the priests were the custodians of the Lord’s jewellery and maintained up-to-date records of the inventory.
But since the Andhra government took over no jewellery audit has been done and that only newer jewellery was being allotted for adorning Lord Venkateswara.
Following this intense expose by the chief priest, he was made to retire by the TTD board.