On the last day of the five-day ceremony, a major fire broke out at Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s pandal of ‘Ayutha Chandi Maha Yagnam’ on Sunday.
Among other dignitaries, President Pranab Mukherjee and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu were scheduled to visit the venue to attend the ‘Maha Yagnam’ ceremony.
Four fire tenders were rushed at the spot immediately. No casualties have been reported so far.
According to media reports, massive arrangements were made for the ‘Yagam’ in the sprawling premises at Rao’s farm house at Erravelli village in Medak district.
About 2,000 priests from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu were taking part in the mega event.
About 1,500 priests took part in the yagna. The VVIP guest list included a few Governors and several political leaders including the chief minister of neighbouring state Andhra Pradesh Chandrababu Naidu, who attended the ceremony this morning.
The ‘Ayutha Chandi Maha Yagnam’, being performed by KCR for people’s welfare, began on Wednesday at his farm house in neighbouring Medak district, drawing sharp criticism from the opposition BJP and CPI(M) which accused him of misusing government machinery and wasting public money.
“All is well at ayutha Chandi yagam location. People are safe. Thousands spread around near the location have been diverted to safety (sic),” tweeted KCR’s daughter Kavitha Kalvakuntla, a lawmaker from Nizamabad. She added that the ceremony resumed soon after the fire was brought under control.
Rao, however, dismissed the charge, claiming that no government money was being spent for the ‘Yagam’ (ritual).