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.

High drama at Tirupati temple board meet TDP leader refuses to resign as chairman
news Controversy Wednesday, May 29, 2019 - 08:12

A meeting of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) trust board witnessed an ugly scene on Tuesday as senior officials including Executive Officer (EO) Anil Kumar Singhal and Joint Executive Officer (JEO) Sreenivasa Raju stormed, even as Chairman Putta Sudhakar Yadav, a leader of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), 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. 

“It seems that this was a well-planned act framed by the trustees to target the senior officials of the TTD. Board chairman Putta Sudhakar Yadav, who was supposed to control the board members and set things right, did not intervene (as chaos broke out)," a TTD official was quoted as saying.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Yadav said, "We don't know what instructions the officials received. We met with an agenda to sort out some things now that the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) has been lifted. As soon as the prayer finished and the meeting was beginning, they stormed out. We waited for them, seeing if they will come back, but that didn't happen."

Asked about his resignation, he said, "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."

The TTD, which governs the Sri Venkateswara temple atop Tirumala, the richest Hindu temple in the world, 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. According to sources, the temple has over Rs 12,000 crore in fixed deposits in various banks.

It is also believed to be earning about 100 kg of gold as annual interest on gold deposits in the banks, as it has pure gold reserves of 9,000 kg.

IANS inputs

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