After weeks of speculation, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader Putta Sudhakar Yadav stepped down as the chairman of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) Board, which oversees affairs at the Sri Venkateswara temple in Andhra Pradesh.
Yadav, who had assumed charge in April last year, resigned after the YSRCP led by YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, swept into power in the state last month.
In his resignation letter to TTD Executive Officer Anil Kumar Singhal, he cited 'personal affairs' as the reason for his decision. Yadav is likely to be succeeded by former MP YV Subba Reddy, who is also Jagan Mohan Reddy's maternal uncle.
Last month, a meeting of the TTD witnessed an ugly scene as senior officials including Anil Kumar Singhal and Joint Executive Officer (JEO) Sreenivasa Raju stormed out, even as Putta Sudhakar Yadav refused to voluntarily resign from his post.
This was the first meeting of the TTD board after the victory of the YSRCP in Andhra Pradesh. Some members of the board are presently TDP appointees and as per the norm, fresh faces will be picked by the YSRCP after it forms its government.
"We were hired by the government and we have dutifully followed our roles in the board. We don't have the heart to send our own resignations, but if the government issues orders in this regard, we will see what further action to take," Yadav had told reporters after the meeting at the time.
The TTD governs the richest Hindu temple in the world and consists of IAS officers, administrators and political appointees, who coordinate with the archakas (priests) and oversee the temple by functioning like a mini-government.
Believed to have been constructed over a period starting 300 AD, the temple attracts 50,000 to one lakh pilgrims every day. The number on special occasions like the annual Brahmotsavam and festivals goes up to 4-5 lakh.
During 2019-20, the TTD expects an overall revenue of about Rs 3,116 crore including Rs 1,231 crore from offerings and Rs 846 crore from interest on deposits in nationalized and private banks.