VIJAYAWADA: The state government’s interference in the administration of Hindu temples and its related associations is threatening the existence of the religion in Andhra Pradesh, warned members of Hindu Seva Samithi (HSS).

In the ‘Hinduism – challenges – future’ convention, in association with Editor’s Association, held at Vijayawada on Sunday, HSS members said the state government views temples as ATMs but instead of money they look to get votes from the Hindus.

Editor’s Association president VVR Krishnamraju said Naidu took advantage of the Godavari Pushkaram and Krishna Pushkaram to publicise his party and in the process ended up wasting thousands of crore of rupees. He further recalled that district officials had razed as many as 46 temples in Vijayawada before pushkarams. “At that time, officials promised to relocate the temples but now no one seems concerned. This hurts the sentiment of the Hindus,” he said.