Ahead of the by-election for the Tirupati Lok Sabha constituency, the BJP revealed its trump card in terms of managing Hindu temples in the state.
BJP President Somu Veerraju published the party’s manifesto on Sunday together with the chairman of the JSP political affairs committee, Nadendla Manohar, BJP Rajya Sabha member GVL Narasimha Rao, candidate K. Ratna Prabha and general secretary Vishnuvardhan Reddy.
The manifesto proposes a “Dharmacharya Mandali” which specifically relates to Tirumala and which is reproducible throughout the state.
The party, which has always criticized the state government’s interference in the day-to-day affairs of religious institutions, announced that it would free the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) from “the clutches of the government” and form an authorized group of seers to lead and monitor its Affairs.
This, according to the manifesto, would be repeated and applied to all Hindu temples in the state.
With the promise of making Tirupati the spiritual capital of the world, the party also proposed in the manifesto that the spread of other religions should be curbed and that steps should be taken to uphold traditional practices, culture, art, music and dance forms.
The party recalled the centre’s efforts to develop Tirupati as a modern city by providing funding from the Smart City Corporation, the establishment of national institutes such as the IIT, IISER, the Indian Culinary Institute, and the development of national highways, train stations and seaports to global Standards.
Narasimha Rao noted that even while traditional practices such as kalamkari and handicrafts, which were endemic to the constituency, were retained, priority would be given to the qualification of artisans.
Intensive care hospitals would also be set up in the districts of Chittoor and Nellore, the party promised.
For farmers, the BJP promised the modernization of marketplaces, the installation of cold stores, micro-irrigation systems and low-cost debts to cattle and sheep farmers.
Targeting the coastal areas, the party promised fishing families Kisan credit cards, the development of Lake Pulicat and fishing ports.