Reddy shelves TTD's plans to sell devotee-donated lands

Andhra CM Jaganmohan Reddy shelves TTD's plans to sell devotee-donated lands

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy. Credit: PTI Photo

In an apparent damage control measure, the Jaganmohan Reddy government has issued an order keeping a decision by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams to liquidate 50 bits of properties in abeyance.

Jagan’s government is facing censure from Lord Venkateshwara devotees, Hindu traditionalists, and TDP, Jana-Sena etc., political parties over TTD’s move to auction land parcels donated to the deity by His devotees. BJP saw it as an “anti-Hindu” move.

The GO issued late on Monday refers to the plan as approved by the previous board of trustees of TTD, through a resolution in January 2016. The time pertains to Chandrababu Naidu as the chief minister.

Read: TTD board defends assets sale as nothing new; shifts blame to previous board under TDP regime

However, in February this year, the present TTD board under YV Subba Reddy went ahead with the resolution for disposal of the said 50 immovable properties worth Rs 23.92 crore. A notification towards auction of 23 of these properties in rural Tamil Nadu was issued on 30 April.

Speaking to DH a few days back, Subba Reddy stated the board as mulling an option of liquidating several valuable but unused properties donated by devotees in cities like Chennai, Mumbai for income to tide over the COVID-19-affected revenue loss. The celebrated temple has been closed for darshan since March 20.

A TTD official familiar with the asset liquidation proposals opined that the huge controversy generated now could shelve those plans too.  

The chairman stresses that Jagan’s government is unconnected with TTD’s land sale decision. Reddy, who was previously a YSRCP MP, was made the coveted board chairman last year after Jagan became the chief minister.

Read more: #SaveTTD: Widespread protest against Tirupati temple trust move to sell properties donated by devotees

The CM is reportedly peeved by the adverse attention the TTD move received nationwide.

“Keeping in view the sentiments of devotees, the government hereby directs TTD to re-examine the issue in consultation with different stakeholders like religious elders, opinion makers, section of devotees etc., to ascertain whether these properties can be used by TTD for construction of temples, dharma pracharam and other religious activities,” the Monday order from GAD (Cabinet) said.

“Till the finalization of the matter, the proposed disposal of 50 properties by TTD is hereby kept in abeyance. Executive Officer, TTD shall take necessary action in this regard and submit compliance report immediately,” it further stated.    

The auction sale controversy has become advantageous for Jagan’s detractors, on the eve of the first anniversary of his chief ministership.  

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