The controversy over the alleged conduct of tantric rituals in the sanctum sanctorum of Kanaka Durga temple in Vijayawada assuming political overtones, Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu has quickly entered the scene and ordered a comprehensive probe into the allegations.
According to sources, Naidu has summoned Endowments Minister M Manikyala Rao to meet him in Vijayawada after the former returns from his Kadapa tour on Wednesday.
Indications are that Naidu might ask Manikyala Rao to tender his resignation in the wake of serious charges levelled against the government with regard to Durga temple controversy.
Manikyala Rao is one of the two BJP ministers inducted in the Naidu cabinet, the other being health minister Kamineni Srinivas.
If Manikyal Rao is forced to resign, it will further strain the relations between the TDP and the BJP, but it is learnt Naidu is prepared for it.
In the morning, Naidu has ordered transfer of Executive Officer of Kanaka Durga temple A Surya Kumari based on the preliminary inquiry. In fact, she is considered to be one of the favourite officials of Naidu and belongs to his own community.
However, following the controversy, Naidu did not want to create an impression that he was protecting her because of caste equations. So, he shifted her and replaced her with Ramachandra Mohan, EO of Simhachalam temple.
The Chief Minister’s Office had called for a comprehensive report from the Endowments Department authorities over the alleged performance of tantric ritual in the famed temple.