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Hey Krishna! Row over NTR statue at Pushkar Ghat

Hey Krishna! Row over NTR statue at Pushkar Ghat
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Hey Krishna! Row over NTR statue at Pushkar Ghat. The TDP government’s proposal to install its founder and former chief minister N T Rama Rao’s statue at Pushkar Ghat in Rajahmundry in Lord Krishna attire is running into rough weather. Cutting across the party lines local leaders have raised objections, to the move.

Hyderabad/Rajahmundry: The TDP government’s proposal to install its founder and former chief minister N T Rama Rao’s statue at Pushkar Ghat in Rajahmundry in Lord Krishna attire is running into rough weather. Cutting across the party lines local leaders have raised objections, to the move.

On the top of it, the local BJP MLA, too, raised objection to the move. Speaking to The Hans India, Rajahmundry Urban MLA Akula Satyanarayana said, “NTR was a good man, a great actor, who had fought for the self-respect of Telugu people. I have no objection to install his statue in human form, but not in Lord Krishna attire.”

When asked whether it is his party’s stand or his own, he said that his party was “against installing the statues of that sort. But, TDP is a coalition partner, and we are trying to talk it out and, I have already taken up the issue with the chief minister yesterday,” he added.

The whole issue turned controversial following the announcement of Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu to install the statue against the resolution passed by the Municipal Corporation of Rajahmundry (MCR). This announcement could be at the behest of the party’s Rural MLA G Buchaiah Chowdary, said a senior TDP leader. Confirming this, Mayor Pantham Rajani said, “We have resolved in the council to install the statue of NTR at Nandanavanam,” and “the proposal to install it at Pushkar Ghat was news to me”.

According to another TDP leader from Rajahmundry, installing NTR statue at Pushkar Ghat was the brainchild of party’s Rural MLA G Buchaiah Chowdary. “He knows there is a sentiment attached to Pushkar Ghat, and the general opinion of local people was against such a move. But, it seems he wanted to go ahead with it. And, it could be at the MLA’s behest that the chief minister might have announced to install the statue at the famous Pushkakar Ghat,” he added.

When asked, Municipal Commissioner J Murali said that “the corporation had only given its opinion of No Objection (NOC). It will go to a committee headed by the district collector. After clearance from the committee, then, necessary permission from river conservator would be obtained,” he said.

But, on condition of anonymity, a senior Irrigation official said that the “the chief minister’s announcement to install the statue at Pushkar Ghat is against the river conservation norm. Because, the place of proposed statue falls within the blue-flood-line area along the river bank, and no construction is permitted below or within this area.”

He further clarified, that “no permission has been sought so far from anyone for the installation of the statue.” However, the Irrigation officials were reportedly stated that “if the proposed statue of NTR is in his human form, then it will have to be rejected.” If it is in Krishnavathar, then “we may consider giving permission, provided, if the statue is of only two meters high, and two meters of width,” the official added.

Giving reason for this, he said that even “if someone knocks the doors of the court, then it could be possible to argue that it was Lord Krishna’s statue, an idol of a Hindu god, going to be installed,” the official said. Taking cue from this, the proposal was mooted to install the statue of TDP founder NTR in Krishnavathar, as he was known for and admired for his role as Lord Krishna in many films.

Now, people does not want the statue of the legendary actor in any form at Pushkar Ghat, hence District Congress Committee president Kandula Durgesh urged the government not to tarnish the image of NTR. While YSRCP has been leading a campaign against the move for political reasons, CPI leader, Nalla Rama Rao said “NTR was a great actor, but not godlike man.”

By VRC Phaniharan/ Samson Raj

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