AP mulls action against TTD ex-chief priest

AP mulls action against TTD ex-chief priest

A view of the Venkateshwara temple in Tirumala.

The Andhra Pradesh government is mulling on initiating civil and criminal action against former chief priest Dr A V Ramana Deekhsitulu, former executive officer I Y R Krishna Rao and a national news channels for spreading canards against the temple administration with regard to retirement, rituals and valuables.

The decision comes a day after the retired chief archaka of Tirumala temple met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP president Amit Shah in New Delhi and sought a CBI inquiry into the affairs of the TTD.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu took stock of the situation in Amaravati on Tuesday.

Sources in Amaravati said the chief minister has asked the TTD to initiate legal action to stop further damage to the image of the temple.

Earlier, TTD Executive officer (EO) Anil Kumar Singhal and chairman Putta Sudhakar Yadav explained to the chief minister regarding the actual position as per the available records with the temple authorities and the viewpoint of the Jeeyars on rituals.

"We have already released the 1952 list of jewellery of Lord Venkateswara and are ready to display the jewels to dispel doubts expressed by Mr Deekhsitulu," Singhal said, addressing the media in Amaravati.

However, he said that it not possible to trace the so-called "pink diamond" that Deekshitulu is asking for as no such thing was mentioned in that list.

"It was only a ruby and the pieces of the ruby are with us and we have also released a photo of it to the public," the EO said.

He added that the former EO of the TTD, I Y R Krishna Rao, during his tenure, had also clarified on this issue.

"Similarly, the ornaments gifted by Sri Krishna Devaraya are also not separately listed," he said.

He wondered as to why the issue of jewellery is being raised now as Justice Wadhva and Justice Jagannatha Rao have already certified the 1952 list.

He reiterated that all the rituals are going on as per Agama Sastra and no digging has been taken up in the "potu" (kitchen) as claimed by Deekhsitulu.

Deekhsitulu had claimed that unauthorised repair work was taken up inside the temple premises in search of hidden wealth.

He also denied allegations of financial mismanagement to the tune of Rs 100 crore in the TTD.