Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh) [India], September 6 (ANI): Andhra Pradesh Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Monday held a protest against the state government for prohibiting Ganesh pandals and immersion processions during Ganesh Chaturthi in view of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking to ANI, state VHP president Sana Srinivas condemned the government's decision and said that they will celebrate the festival irrespective of any permission.
"There are 100 crores Hindus in this country. The government will regret going against all these people. We will show our power and celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi, come what may," he said.
On being asked about the Central government's guidelines on Covid-19, Srinivas said the Centre's guidelines did not forbid the celebration of festivals. He added that there was no restriction on cinemas, tourism and political rallies in the state.
The VHP President further referred to the mass gatherings of Muslims during Ramzan and Muharram and criticised the state government for not taking an action then. "There were a thousand people gathered without masks then. Our Hindu Samaj is very sensitive towards the Covid situation and we will celebrate the festival by following all the Covid-19 guidelines," he stated.
Hindu seer Radhamanohar Das also slammed that the YSRCP government and said that the state government led by Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has always been against the Hindus.
He referred to the vandalism of temples in Reddy's regime. Das also blamed the state government for allegedly looting Hindu temples by increasing prices for temple visits.
"You have an agenda of destroying our 'dharma' (religion). We are ready to follow guidelines but Ganesh Chaturthi will be celebrated even if you allow or not," he added.
Earlier in the day, the state Bharatiya Janata Party held protests outside collectorates across the state with the demand to allow Ganesh Pandals on the occasion of forthcoming Ganesh Chaturthi.
Reacting to BJP's demand, Andhra Pradesh Endowments Minister Velampalli Srinivasa Rao slammed BJP for allegedly provoking communal disturbances in the state. (ANI)