The former chief priest of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), Dr A V Ramana Deekshitulu, on Friday said that Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu did not give him an appointment, even though one was sought.
Deekshitulu was responding to criticism that he faced after meeting YSRCP President YS Jaganmohan Reddy.
âWhen Mr Naidu does not give appointment what to do I? I am meeting all important people to request justice. I am not interested in politics. I am interested only in continuation of hereditary priests. Whoever solves this issue we salute them. If Mr Naidu solves this issue we salute him," Deekshitulu was quoted as saying.
He also informed reporters that he had sought an appointment with state Congress president N. Raghuveera Reddy, Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan and AP BJP president Kanna Lakshminarayana.
Soon after the meeting, Andhra Pradesh IT Minister Nara Lokesh took to Twitter and said, " Been saying this since long and now itâs in the open. Ramana Deekshithulu called on Jagan on instructions from BJP. Shame on them for their unholy nexus. Donât ever play games with Lord Venkateswara swamy. He will teach you guys a lesson that you will not forget!"
Other senior leaders of the TDP also lashed out at the former chief priest.
Party leader Bonda Umamaheshwara Rao earlier told TNM, âThis is part of a political conspiracy. Isnât it evident that he is being influenced by the anti-TDP camp to bring disrepute to the TDP? Someone is behind his campaign."
In May, Deekshithulu was sacked by authorities on the grounds that he exceeded the retirement age limit. However, this unceremonious sacking came after he levelled shocking allegations against the TTD administration on financial irregularities, and also raised suspicion that several old ornaments from the temple were missing.
He also claimed that the pink diamond which had been part of the platinum necklace of Lord Venkateshwara, had been stolen and smuggled to Geneva. Making these shocking allegations, Deekshithulu demanded for a CBI inquiry, and also pressed for bringing the TTD under the ambit of the RTI for transparency.
Meanwhile, the TTD accused Deekshitulu of âpoliticisingâ temple affairs and threatened to take legal action against him.
âThis is nothing short of blasphemy. Deekshitulu, who served the Lord Venkateshwara as head priest for over 24 years, has hurt the sentiments of devotees by going to the residence of the Opposition leader who is a Christian. It was not correct on his part to politicise the temple issues which could be resolved in the trust board meetings,â TTD chairman Putta Sudhakar Yadav told reporters in Tirumala on Friday.