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Does a state like AP really need a political harmony committee?

As strange as it sounds, the politics in Andhra Pradesh has worn an extremely religious hue as BJP ups the ante against temple protests in the state to hijack the narrative. 
 
In a state where caste plays a dominant rule in decision-making and religion is never a mainstream issue, the Government of Andhra Pradesh has constituted state and district-level communal harmony committees. The panels will strive to promote communal harmony in the State, besides safeguarding the religious sentiments of people.  
 
“The recent incidents targeting religious institutions do not appear to be crimes done on the spur of the moment. It seems there is a deeper conspiracy with a design to disturb communal harmony in the State, which is taking up a lot of activities for the benefit of people. The motives seem to be derailment of development programmes, so officials become more busy with controlling these incidents of communal disharmony, unable to concentrate on development activities,” said Chief Secretary Adityanath Das. 
 
He stated that the functions of these committees are to visit the places where such incidents have occurred, take confidence building measures to ensure social fabric of the state is not affected and at the same time to ensure that everyone comes together to prevent recurrence of such incidents in the future. 
 
“The committees will also look into the crimes, progress of investigation and how the evidence is being gathered,” he added. But, what is surprising amidst all this is that Jagan government still faces allegations of being anti-Hindu. 
 
That is where BJP and TDP are trying to attack the ruling party politically ahead of the Tirupati Byelection which has now become a prestigious fight for all the three parties. The BJP, interestingly, is driving the narrative and keeping it alive, either through protests or in other forms while also side-tracking TDP’s voice in the process. 
 
Political analysts say that this is a BJP-specific strategy where it tries to keep the religious issue alive even where the party doesn’t have voteshare or chances to win. “But, that’s how you inject religion into the psyche of the people and BJP knows it too well. They look at long-term while disturbing the status quo,” remarked a political analyst. 

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