Crown offered by Reddy will not be returned: TTD

Crown offered by Reddy will not be returned: TTD

Crown offered by Reddy will not be returned: TTD

File photo of the 2.5 ft diamond studded golden crown, worth Rs 25 cr, that was offered at Lord Vekateswara Temple by former Karnataka Minister G Janardhana Reddy in Tirupati on June 11, 2009. PTIThe diamond studded gold crown worth Rs 45 crore offered by former Karnataka Minister and mining baron Janardhana Reddy to the hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala two years ago would not be returned to him, the temple trust said today.

The position of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam, which manages the shrine, was stated today by its Executive Officer L V Subrahmanyam in the wake of appeals by some political parties and devotees to return the crown as they felt it was offered by a 'tainted' former Minister.

Reddy, who donated the 2.5 foot long 30 kg crown on June 11 2009, is now in jail in Hyderabad after the CBI arrested him on Monday in an illegal mining case in Andhra Pradesh.

Subrahmanyam told PTI that devotees' offerings would not be returned "under any circumstance". The same is applicable to the offering by Reddy also, he said.

However, TTD would not hesitate to furnish particulars about the offering to any government agency. "We are even ready to allow officials of Income Tax or any other state or central agencies who want to see the crown at the temple," he said.

Reddy, who was a minister in the Yeddyurappa cabinet, was arrested by the CBI on September 5 from Bellary under the Prevention of Corruption Act after a raid on his residence.

The CBI has filed cases against Reddy and his brother-in-law Srinivasa Reddy, Managing Director of family run Obalapuram Mining Corporation in Andhra Pradesh on the charge of illegal mining.

A day after Reddy's arrest, devotees had staged a protest in the temple town of Tirupati, demanding return of the crown to him and that it should not be part of the deity's possessions.