Images of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao and some of the flagship programmes of his government and a car are being carved on pillars to be allegedly used for the Yadadri temple complex.
The temple at Yadagirigutta - the abode of Sri Lakshmi Narasimha - and its surrounding areas are being renovated and developed by the state government.
It's not clear as to where or on what portion of the temple these carved pillars would be used. But, already, this reported move by the government has drawn flak from other political parties and their leaders after the issue was highlighted in the local media.
Senior Congress leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka said there should not any political activity or depiction of leaders at religious places.
"Is this democracy or monarchy? It is a place of worship which people of all political interests visit. There should not be any scope for political activity. I request you to stop all these activities," Mr Vikramarka said in a press conference on Friday.
Seeking apologies from the government, BJP legislator Raja Singh, in a video message, demanded that the pictures should not be used on temples.
"I ask the Chief Minister whether this is in his knowledge. If you know it, then stop it immediately. Otherwise take action against those responsible for it. The temple is not being constructed with your partys (TRS) funds or from your pocket money. It is public money that is being spent there. You should apologise to the people," he said.
"If you (KCR) want to engrave figures of political parties, then ensure that all the parties get space," he added.
Chief spokesperson of the state BJP K Krishna Saagar Rao, in a statement, said, "With unprecedented greed for political legacy, KCR has desecrated Yadadri."
"Etching his own image, other political leaders' images, party symbols, government schemes on Hindu temple pillars is an unforgiveable act. It amounts to 'desecrating' a Hindu temple. The Yadadri temple episode exposes KCR's cheap antics for political outcome," he said.
When contacted, a senior official involved in the temple project said engraving rulers pictures on temples and parts of temples was not uncommon in history and asked PTI to contact the stapati (temple architect) for an explanation.
There were pictures of Krishnadevaraya, king of Vijayanagar empire, at the Lord Venkateswara Swamy temple at Tirumala in Andhra Pradesh, he said.
Efforts to contact the architect and state government officials drew a blank.
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