Senior Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader and former Union Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju diverted his rejected donation for Ramateertham to Ram Mandir construction in Ayodhya on Tuesday.
“Now that I have been denied my right as a bhakta (devotee) and a member of the founder family to offer my donation to Lord Rama in Ramateerthalu, I have passed on the donation which to my mind now belongs to Lord Rama to the Bhavya Rama Mandir in Ayodhya,” said Raju.
He asserted that he is now at peace after diverting the donation of Rs 1,01,116 to Ayodhya.
Raju shared a picture of the cheque he donated to Ram Mandir.
Earlier, the Andhra Pradesh government rejected his donation to Ramateertham temple, following an attack by unidentified miscreants in December who decapitated Lord Ram’s idol and dumped the head in a nearby pond.
Subsequent to that crime, a massive controversy erupted over the secluded hilltop temple’s attack with fingers being pointed at the government for allegedly neglecting the security of temples.
Endowments Minister Vellampalli Srinivas criticized Raju for neglecting the temple’s security as he was a caretaker, which kicked up another row.
The Andhra Pradesh government has formed a special investigation team (SIT) to probe temple attacks and also allocated Rs 3 crore to renovate the Ramateertham in Nellimerla Mandal of Vizianagaram district.