A few Hindu dharmik organisations organised a public meeting here on Monday to condemn the demolition of temples in the city, despite the State government promising to rebuild them at the same places.
Several sadhus and swamijis who addressed the gathering demanded that the State government dismiss Krishna District Collector and the VMC Commissioner.
They also wanted Vijayawada MP Kesineni Srinivas (Nani) to tender an unconditional apology for overreaching his authority and for his outburst against gousalas.
Doubting the credentials of government officials, the swamijis alleged that there was an ulterior motive in demolishing the temples.
“Unfortunately, the government appointed an IAS officer who was once involved in religious conversions as Krishna Pushkaram special officer. The government is requested to take a note of this,” said Kamalananda Bharati.
Mr. Srinivas, MP, told the meeting that the government would construct the temples at the same places. The Vijayeswara Swamy temple would not be demolished. The Seethammavari Padalu would be rebuilt after beautifying the area. Reconstruction of the temples would be completed before the commencement of Pushkarams, he said.
Not satisfied with the assurances, the activists of the Samithi tried to gherao Medical and Health Minister Kamineni Srinivas. Narsapur MP Gokaraju Gangraju, also of the BJP, tried to pacify the protesters, but they did not relent.
The activists raised slogans against the government and demanded an apology from the Vijayawada MP, forcing him to leave the meeting abruptly. MLC Somu Veeraraju, BJP leader Kanna Lakshminarayana, Siva Swamy of Siva peetham Srinivasananda Swamy, Mahant Yamunadas and others were present.
Protesters took to the streets as rumours spread that the government was planning to demolish the Vinayaka temple. Earlier, officials had removed Seethammavari Padalu, the Dakshinamukha Anjaneya Swamy temple and the Sanaischara swamy temple overnight. But, the response then was lukewarm.