KURNOOL: The auction of shops at Sri Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna temple in Srisailam to non-Hindus, which snowballed into a major controversy with the BJP and other right-wing organisations calling for ‘Chalo Srisailam’ on Tuesday, took a new turn on Monday evening. The State government transferred Srisailam temple Executive Officer A Sriramachandra Murthy in an apparent bid to cool down the tempers and put an end to the controversy.
Following the transfer of the temple Executive Officer and appointment of special deputy collector KS Rama Rao as the new EO, the BJP and other organisations called off their ‘Chalo Srisailam’.It all started with the Srisailam temple administration auctioning the shops in the newly constructed Lalithambika commercial complex on August 16.
Out of the total 236 shops in the complex, 30 were earmarked for local Chenchu tribesmen. Non-Hindus were allegedly allowed to participate in the auction of shops. Having learnt about it, BJP leader Budda Srikanth Reddy along with his followers reached the commercial complex and disrupted the auction of shops.
No ‘Chalo Srisailam’ today
The BJP activists had heated arguments with the temple EO and non-Hindus who participated in the auction. Srikanth Reddy also alleged that non-Hindus were employed in Srisailam Devasthanam.
Sensing trouble in the wake of ‘Chalo Srisailam’ call given by the BJP and others, a huge police force was deployed in the temple town to thwart any untoward incident. Police said no organisation or individual had applied for permission to hold a protest at Sunnipenta or Srisailam. No protests would be allowed in Srisailam, the police said.
Endowments Minister Vellampalli Srinivas took stock of the situation and directed the endowments commissioner to cancel the auction of shops in Srisailam. BJP State vice-president K Kapileswaraiah and Bajrang Dal State co-convenor T Pratap Reddy said they called off ‘Chalo Srisailam’ on Tuesday as the State government had cancelled the auction of shops and also transferred the temple EO.