Devotees flay decision on Tirumala as fly zone

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Taking strong objection to the Union government’s decision against declaring Tirumala a no-fly zone, devotees of Lord Venkateswara staged a protest at Padala Mandapam in Alipiri on Friday. Led by Rayalaseema Porata Samiti convener P. Naveen Kumar Reddy, they demanded that the Centre reconsider the decision.

Mr Naveen criticised civil aviation minister P. Ashok Gajapati Raju and Union minister M. Venkaiah Naidu for not intervening in the issue even after they reacted positively to the demand during their visits to Tirumala in the past. He said they do not want an international airport in Tirupati if it is a hindrance in the way of protecting the sanctity of the world-renowned Tirumala shrine.

He criticised both the BJP and the TD for failing to secure the no-fly zone for Tirumala, though the parties are in power in the Centre and in the state. Referring to the statements of Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and TTD chairman Ch. Krishnamurthy that Lord Venkateswara has saved their lives in the Alipiri bomb blast after the incident, he questioned the rationale behind their silence on the issue, knowing full well about the threat to Tirumala from terrorists.

Mr Naveen appealed to the seers of all the mutts and peetams to react and bring pressure on the government to differ with their decision on flying zone. They must remember that their outcry citing Agama Sastras led the government to put off the idea of a ropeway to Tirumala. They would launch an agitation with support from the devotees of Lord Venkateswara across the globe apart from the seers of various peetams if the Centre failed to review its decision, they said.

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