In a landmark judgement, the SC upheld the administrative rights of the royal Travancore family on the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Kerala.

Andhra Pradesh
news Politics Tuesday, July 14, 2020 - 18:07

Citing the Supreme Court verdict that upheld the administrative rights of the royal Travancore family to manage the affairs of Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Kerala, TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday said that the Jagan-led government should not intervene in the affairs of Simhachalam Board.

The former Chief said that the government should also not meddle in the affairs of Maharaja Alak Narayana Society of Arts and Science (MANSAS) trust and protect the rights of the Gajapathi family as custodians. 

“AP gov must take note of this development & stop interfering with the mgmt of Simhachalam Board & MANSAS trust to attain their evil goals. Gajapathi family’s rights as custodians must be protected. @ysjagan must not meddle with God & family-run trusts to play dirty politics,” Chandrababu Naidu tweeted on Tuesday.

Earlier in March, the Andhra Pradesh government in a clandestine manner appointed Sanchaita Gajapati, national executive member of the BJP, as the chairperson of both Simhachalam Devasthanam and MANSAS by removing Naidu’s colleague, former Union Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju. 

Sanchaita is the daughter of Anand Gajapathi Raju, elder brother of Ashok. She was born to Anand and Uma; the couple later divorced. She, too, belongs to the royal Vizianagaram family. 

The appointment of Sanchaita led to a controversy over her rights on MANSAS and the Simhachalam Devasthanam board. 

The Simhachalam Devasthanam manages more than 100 temples, including the Varahalakshmi Narasimha temple, located close to Visakhapatnam, one of the largest temples in the state.  

Ashok Gajapathi Raju served as the Aviation Minister in the Narendra Modi cabinet until both the BJP and TDP parted ways in 2018 over the special status to Andhra Pradesh.

On Tuesday in a landmark judgement, the Supreme Court reversed the 2011 Kerala High Court order, which had said that the family’s rights over the temple ceased with the death of the last ruler of Travancore, Sree Chithira Thirunal, in 1991. After his death, the last ruler’s brother, Utradam Thirunal Marthanda Varma, became the temple’s custodian.

However, the apex court said that the death will not affect the rights of shebaitship of the family. Subsequently, the Kerala government said that they will honour the Supreme Court’s verdict.

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