Accusing the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister's office of corruption and colluding with Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) staff, former Union Minister and Secunderabad MP Bandaru Dattatreya, Telangana state BJP chief K Laxman and other BJP leaders sought the intervention of Governor ESL Narasimhan into the alleged scam on Tuesday.
The BJP leaders alleged that the CMO had colluded with the joint executive officer K Srinivasa Raju of the TTD and were selling VIP darshan tickets through agents at high prices in 'black'. VIP tickets are usually sold to devotees who come on the recommendation of MPs, MLAs and TTD board members. While a regular darshan ticket costs Rs 300, a VIP darshan ticket costs Rs 500. However, those who buy a VIP ticket need not stand in long queues and can skip the waiting line.
After submitting a letter to the Governor, Dattatreya told media, “The Chief Minister should probe the matter and get details of the assets owned by TTD. The probe report should also be made public.”
He further said that the TTD should release a ‘white paper’ to assure confidence among the devotees and restore the sanctity of the temple.
Last year on 27 September, BJP state secretary Bhanu Prakash who had visited the temple alleged that many devotees came with VIP darshan tickets after paying Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 to agents. The BJP claims that they caught the offenders ‘red-handed’.
Bhanu Prakash later sought a police inquiry into the matter, alleging that many bigwigs were behind this ‘scam’ and that the TTD staff were selling these VIP tickets. He later filed a police complaint. However, police did not initiate any probe into his allegations.
“No case has been registered. There should be a Vigilance and Enforcement probe into this immediately,” said, Telangana state president K Laxman.
“As there is no inquiry by the government, it suggests that the government is indeed involved in the scam, hence we approached the Governor,” he added.
He however told TNM that though there is no proof of this ‘scam’, Bhanu Prakash did catch the authorities in action and it is ‘true’, Laxman said.
Strongly rejecting the allegations, Telugu Desam Party spokesperson Sadineni Yamini told TNM. “The BJP is hell bent on de-stabilizing our government. It is sad that they have even dragged god into this. There is no such scam. The ticket procurement process is very transparent, and if the BJP has any proof, since they have power in Centre they could seek a probe through their agencies.”
“The allegations are absolutely unfounded without any substantial evidence. In the past also they have tried a smear campaign using Ramana Dishitulu and IV Krishna Rao. Their ultimate motive is to destabilize the government,” she added.