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BJP Slams MIM

The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), which withdrew support to Congress-led UPA government at the Centre and Andhra Pradesh government, came under fire from BJP which accused the outfit of resorting to "communal blackmail" to draw political mileage from the temple row.

"The allegation levelled by MIM President Asaduddin Owaisi against BJP and Sangh Parivar is far from truth and there is no question of involvement (of Sangh Parivar activists) in the temple row," President of Andhra Pradesh unit BJP G Kishan Reddy told reporters here.

MIM's move to pull out of UPA government at Centre and Kiran Kumar Reddy government in the state is an "eyewash" and "communal blackmailing" for drawing a political mileage from the temple row, he charged.

Rebutting MIM's allegations that the state government "favoured" a particular community, Reddy said "the N Kiran Kumar Reddy government, after initial reluctance, only implemented the orders of the High Court to maintain a status quo as on October 30 at Baghyalaxmi temple adjacent to historic Charminar".

Reddy said civil authorities, after holding detailed discussions with Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), restored the status quo position as per the court orders.

Claiming that ordinary Muslims are not against the temple, Reddy said MIM was opposing implementation of the court orders for its "selfish" motives.

He asked the government to allow devotees to pay their obeisance at the temple tomorrow on the occasion of Diwali.

BJP national secretary K Laxman, who was also present at the press conference, said the police arrested seer Swami Paripurnananda when he went to Bhagyalaxmi temple to participate in rituals.

Lok Sabha member Asaduddin Owaisi, who heads the 7-member MIM in the 294-member House, accused the state government of allowing "Sangh Parivar activists to have a free run" against the backdrop of a tarpaulin being allowed to be laid on Bhagyalaxmi temple yesterday.

Meanwhile, 'Bhagyalaxmi Devalaya Parisakshna Samithi' has urged the state government to take measures to ensure peaceful passing of special "puja" (ritual) at the temple tomorrow on the occasion of Diwali.

"As a large number of people will throng at the temple to participate in the puja, police should make adequate security arrangement," said convener of the Samithi Bhagvanth Rao in a release here.

City Police have been strictly implementing the prohibitory orders in the communally-sensitive Old City where a curfew-like situation prevailed today in the usually busy market area around the Charminar.

"The situation is totally peaceful and no untoward incident was reported from any part of Old City since last night," police said.

Tension had gripped the area yesterday after seven MIM legislators were taken into custody when they staged a protest alleging the temple authorities have violated the High Court orders directing to maintain status quo as on October 30.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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