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Open letter to Jagan urges him to rise above caste, religion

In an open letter to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, the people of the state living in the country and other places abroad congratulated him for the landslide victory. They wanted him to administer for all the people of Andhra, whether or not they supported him in the elections. They appealed to him to work for an aspirational AP devoid of religion, region and caste biases and propel it to great heights in the country.
 
The important concerns taken to his notice include stalling conversion of a large number of people in Andhra to Christianity. During his father and former CM late Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s administration, more than 20 per cent of the population in the undivided Andhra, particularly coastal areas, were converted to Christianity in a span of 5-6 years. 
 
During YSR’s regime, nearly 40 per cent of Hindu temple lands were disposed at throwaway prices to friendly corrupt developers and churches were built on those lands. Addressing Jagan, the letter said that “In your manifesto too, you mentioned that you will provide houses to every pastor in the state and marry off Christian brides using state money. Using taxpayers’ money for a single religion is not appreciable,” the letter pointed out.
 
The letter also mentioned concern over no audit over the expenditure of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD). Since 1993, there were no details of how the thousands of crores earned by the Tirumala shrine are being spent. In a way, this could mean the funds provided by the Hindu devotees could be used to build homes for Pastors while the Hindu priests are not being paid minimum sustenance for their survival. 
 
The missive also stated how under Jagan’s father reduced the number of holidays for Hindu festivals while increasing the same for Christian festivals. He reportedly removed Rama Navami from the state government approved holidays.
 
In 2012, it was reported that Jagan entered the Tirumals temple without making the required declaration from people of other faiths. The appointment of Stephen Ravindra as AP new intelligence chief, who also worked as the chief security officer in YSR’s regime, was also raised in the letter. The people said that Ravindra was a hardcore Christian and expressed doubt that he would promote religious conversions on a large-scale.
 
These are a few of the major concerns of the people in a state dominated by Hindu population. During campaigning, Jagan had taken the blessings of Hindu spiritual leaders but his manifesto made offerings to only Christians, the letter observed. 
 
Now, being given an opportunity to rule the state, it is up to you to administer all the people of Andhra fairly. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP have been saying, the current mandate across the country is from aspirational India that wants to rise above caste politics.
 
It would be better if you can adhere to be a CM for all sections of people seeing beyond caste and look for contributions from all the people of the state to help it develop and prosper. It is also your responsibility to protect the rich heritage of the state without allowing the caste and religion-based politics to result in vandalising the heritage structures.
 
You have a  choice to build an Andhra for all people of the state, an Andhra Rajyam or create multiple Rajyams, a Missionary Rajyam, a Reddy Rajyam, and a Goonda Rajyam and being instrumental in the downfall of the state, the letter said.

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