The Andhra Pradesh government on Saturday removed J Sekhar Reddy as a member of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) following the seizure of huge cash and gold from his premises in Chennai.
With Income Tax officials continuing searches at his house and office in Chennai for a third consecutive day, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government sacked him as the member of TTD, which manages the affairs of India's richest temple at Tirupati.
Sekhar Reddy, a businessman, was being interrogated by the IT department, following several raids by officials in Chennai. His associate Srinivasa Reddy and their agent Prem, were also being quizzed.
“Sekhar and Srinivasa are into the business of sand quarrying and construction. Prem was their agent,” an Income Tax official from the investigations department, earlier told The Hindu.
Official sources said Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu decided to remove Sekhar Reddy in view of the IT raids.
Naidu took the action as pressure mounted from opposition for action against Sekhar Reddy, a businessman from Chennai.
The state government appointed him as one of the members while constituting a new trust board.
The IT officials have reportedly seized Rs 130 crore including Rs 70 crore in new currency notes of Rs 2,000 and over 100 kg of gold from premises of Sekhar Reddy and his two associates in Chennai during the last three days.