TTD accuses former head priest of politicising temple affairs threatens legal action
The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), which manages Andhra Pradesh’s Triumala temple, accused its former head priest AV Ramana Deekshitulu of politicising temple affairs and threatened to take legal action against him.
Deekshitulu, who was forced to retire from the post of head priest within a day of alleging corruption in the temple administration in May, had met Opposition leader and YSR Congress chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy on Thursday.
Deekshitulu had sought Reddy’s support in his battle against the temple administration and the state’s ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government, accusing it of also being involved in the corruption plaguing temple administration, people familiar with the matter said.
“This is nothing short of blasphemy. Deekshitulu, who served the Lord Venkateshwara as head priest for over 24 years, has hurt the sentiments of devotees by going to the residence of the Opposition leader who is a Christian. It was not correct on his part to politicise the temple issues which could be resolved in the trust board meetings,” TTD chairman Putta Sudhakar Yadav said on Friday.
Stating that Deekshitulu’s allegations were politically motivated, Yadav said, “Earlier, he had met BJP national president Amit Shah. Now, he met Jaganmohan Reddy. He has been addressing press conferences wherever he is going, slinging mud at the TTD and the state government. We are contemplating taking legal action against Deekshitulu shortly.”
Echoing Yadav’s views, TDP legislator Bonda Uma alleged said Deekshitulu’s charges were part of a conspiracy hatched by the BJP with the help of YSR Congress to run down the TDP government. “The conspiracy has now been clearly exposed,” he said.