05:04 GMT14 May 2021
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Passengers and politicians have objected to pilgrimages to Mecca and Jerusalem being advertised on bus tickets issued for travel to a Hindu temple town in southern India.

    Hindu passengers travelling to Tirumala, a hugely popular temple town in India’s southern Andhra Pradesh state, noticed the advertisement for Hajj pilgrimages to Mecca and Jerusalem printed on the back of bus tickets issued by the state-run Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC).

    The passengers informed the APSRTC regional manager who said the tickets had been wrongly issued.

    The incident acquired a political twist with the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accusing Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy of disrespecting Hindu sentiments.

    Sunil Deodhar, a local BJP leader, said secular people would never accept any government agenda that seeks to promote minority religious propaganda.

    ​“Promoting one particular religion on a bus ticket to Tirupati is highly objectionable. This must come to an end," the BJP leader added.

    A section of social media joined the criticism, claiming the adverts were offensive to Hindus.

    Others said it seemed an honest mistake by the state administration and there was no need for it to be turned into a controversy.

    ​A senior official also played down the issue, saying the state transport authority was looking into the matter.

    "It is an advertisement of the government issued by the minorities department," he was quoted as saying.

    The opposition BJP has been stepping up political attacks on Jaganmohan Reddy since he became chief minister of Andhra Pradesh in May.

    protest, Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), politicians, Hindus, Temple, Jerusalem, Hajj, minorities, pilgrimage, advertisement, tickets, Bus, Andhra Pradesh, India
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