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Why Jagan is trying hard to build a ‘pro-Hindu’ image despite being a practising Christian

Coming from a Christian evangelical background and a family that propagates religion on a mass scale, Y.S Jaganmohan Reddy is seen as one who is pro-Christian belonging to the Reddy community in Andhra Pradesh. But, given that he is the son of late Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy who has adulation of the masses, Jagan still basks in the shadow of his father’s legacy. 
 
After becoming the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh in 2019 by winning a thumping majority against the Telugu Desam Party, Jagan saw his 10-year-old dream coming true. What followed was making populist decisions which appealed to the masses and showered them with cash and freebies. 
 
While winning them over with money, his brash decisions also cost the state economically, stripping the exchequer of funds and investments leaving the state due to a deteriorating law and order situation. But, what has remained constant throughout is Jagan’s mass appeal and brand image. Despite destructive decisions, Jagan has been maintaining his brand image as a pro-Hindu leader. 
 
In the backdrop of a series of temple attacks in Andhra Pradesh, Jagan has been attacked by the Opposition parties. However, he has ensured that he balances out his pro-Hindu image through rituals, temple visits and a good publicity team.
 
First, after temple vandalism incidents, he promised to build the temples that were destroyed and assured to protect them at all costs. Second, he offered silk robes and performed rituals earlier during the Tirumala Brahmotsavams sending the right signals to the Hindu community. 
 
Despite rumours of Tirumala seeing Christianity propagation, Jagan has carefully crafted and wiped off those rumours while also putting his own uncle, Y.V. Subba Reddy as the TTD Chairman. Not only these, but Jagan’s PR team is also carefully using all his ritual-performances as opportunities to create a pro-Hindu image while also balancing out the political appeal to his Christian and Reddy community voters. 
 
Going by all the antics we see on display during Jagan’s administration, it is clearly visible that politicians today are looking only at electoral success as their destination and not focussed on development of the state or the country. We will need to wait and watch whether his play of religion will keep Jagan’s voterbase intact or dwindle in future as BJP’s ambitions in Andhra Pradesh as well as across India keep growing every other day!

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