The Andhra Pradesh government on Monday issued an order for a shuffle in the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), appointing IAS officer P Basant Kumar as the new Joint Executive Officer (JEO) of the board, which oversees affairs of the richest Hindu temple in the world.
Kumar's predecessor, K S Sreenivasa Raju, who had been holding the post for close to eight years now, has been transferred and asked to report to the state government's General Administration Department for further posting.
A Government Order issued by the state, said, "P Basant Kumar, IAS (2007) is placed on Full Additional Charge of the post of Joint Executive Officer, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, Tirumala, with immediate effect, until further orders.(sic)"
The GO was signed by Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary L V Subrahmanyam. Raju had been appointed before the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, during the tenure of Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy.
Basant Kumar was earlier working as the Commissioner of the Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority (VMRDA).
The transfer came just days after former MP YV Subba Reddy, who is also Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy's maternal uncle, took over as Chairman of the TTD Trust Board.
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 from 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 nationalised and private banks.