VHP-led Hindu seers' conclave to release declaration on Tirumala

VHP-led Hindu seers' conclave to release declaration on Tirumala

A view of the Sri Venkateshwara Temple, in Tirumala.

A conclave of Hindu religious leaders in Hyderabad on Sunday decided to come out with a declaration calling for management of Hindu temples, particularly Tirumala, the richest temple in the world, by 'Dharmik Mandals'.

A day-long brainstorming session away from the media glare has expressed grave concerns over the ongoing controversy regarding the retirement of priests, non-compliance of Agama rituals and management of wealth of the Tirumala Tirupati Devastanams (TTD), a government-appointed body.

The timing of the meeting under the aegis of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad is considered crucial as the Centre under the BJP seems to be keen on taking over the management of Tirumala temple and its affiliated temples blaming the ruling Telugu Desam Party for mismanaging the temple affairs.

The meeting attended by Hampi Seer Vidyaranya Swamy, Paripurnananda Swamy, Kamalananda Bharati Swamy and other prominent seers opined that the present Andhra Pradesh (AP) government has failed to protect the sanctity of the temple.

“The AP government has failed to tackle the issues that recently rocked the faith of lakhs of Hindus around the country. If the state government can’t protect the sanctity of the temple, then the seers will have to lead the agitation and save the temple from the hands of the politicians,” the conclave declared.

The seers said that they will come out with “Tirumala Declaration” on June 9, plotting the future course of action.

The Sunday conclave has toed the line of retired chief priest Ramana Deekshitulu and former TTD executive officer I Y R Krishna Rao who alleged that the politically appointed TTD board is consulting the “Dharmik Mandal” while taking decisions regarding rituals to the presiding deity. The seers also expressed concern over the presence of non-Hindus in crucial posts in the TTD.

Recently, the retirement of three senior priests by the TTD and the allegations by the Opposition YSR Congress that Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has shifted valuable jewellery of the main deity to his Hyderabad home has rocked the state.

Ramana Deekshitulu also alleged that one precious 'pink diamond' of the main deity was seen at an auction house in Geneva, blaming the TTD for the disappearance of the valuable stone.

However, Naidu has denied the allegations and saw a conspiracy by the BJP-YSRCP-Janasena combine to bring his government under the CBI scanner.