In a bizarre claim on the allegations of missing jewels belonging to the Lord Venkateswara temple atop Tirumala, the YSRCP on Wednesday claimed that the ornaments were stored at the residences of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
Speaking to reporters in Visakhapatnam, YSRC national general secretary and MP V Vijayasai Reddy alleged that a CBI raid in Hyderabad and Amaravati would ensure that the jewellery is recovered immediately.
"I have reliable information that all the disappeared jewellery and ornaments of Lord Venkateswara Swamy have found their way to Chandrababu Naiduâ€™s residences. If the CBI or any other state police conducts raids on Chandrababu Naiduâ€™s residences within 12 hours, all the disappeared jewellery of TTD can be recovered,â€™â€™ the MP was quoted as saying.
He also added that the raids must be carried out swiftly, failing which the jewels and ornaments may be shifted to a foreign country.
â€śIt is impossible to believe that Chandrababu Naidu has amassed so much wealth with only Heritage business. If he claims that false allegations are heaped on his son Lokesh, then why canâ€™t he seek a CBI inquiry into the issue?â€ť Reddy asked.
However, the comments did not go down well with the TDP, who demanded that Reddy must resign for levelling 'baseless' allegations.
TDP MLA Bonda Umamaheswara Rao said that the YSRCP could ask its 'partner', the BJP, to conduct a raid on Naidu's properties.
He also challenged the MP to resign, if none of the jewels were found at the Chief Minister's residences.
Meanwhile, HRD Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao came armed with photographs of a meeting between former Tirumala chief priest Ramana Deekshitulu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Minister alleged that the ex-chief priest and the YSRCP were acting on the behest of the BJP.
In a related development, Deekshitulu also met with BJP MP Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday.
While there is no official word from the meeting, the duo may be planning to file a case in the Supreme Court against the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD).
â€śI have decided after seeing the grossly illegal exercise of power of TTD in sacking the Head Priest Ramana Dikshitalu. Hence I will move the SC for quashing the sacking and seek also a Court monitored CBI investigation into the financial misappropriation of Temple funds by TTD,â€ť Swamy had tweeted earlier.
The entire incident began after Deekshitulu addressed the media last week in Chennai where he disclosed that the priests have filed a petition against the administrators demanding transparency pertaining to donations and jewellery.
They also demanded to bring the TTD administration under the ambit of the Right to Information Act.
Following this, Deekshitulu has been facing criticism and he was relieved from his duties.
The TTD Trust Board passed a resolution to state that all 'mirasi archakas' (hereditary priests) must be retired on reaching the age of 65.
A Venugopala Deekshitulu has now replaced 69-year-old Deekshitulu as head priest at the Lord Venkateswara temple atop Tirumala.