On January 1, Tirupati Balaji got a souvenir of Tamil Nadu’s Amma: AIADMK workers had offered the deity a silver plate engraved with an image of his party chief J Jayalalithaa. Apparently, in honour of her birthday next month.
The matter came to light around four days when TTD officials opened the koppera hundi – a type of large donation box. The hundi is also called the Srivari hundi. The plate weighs around 1kg and is estimated to be worth around Rs 40,000.
Deputy Executive officer TTD Chandrasekhar Pillai told The News Minute, “We learned about the offering three or four days ago as it was already dropped in the (Koppara) hundi we couldn't return it. We have sent it to Treasury; they will take care of it.”
Although how temple security could have missed it is somewhat difficult to understand as AIADMK workers stood at a spot on the temple premises and distributed sweets, posed for a video with the silver plate, raising slogans saying Jayalalithaa would live for a hundred years interspersed with chants of “Govinda Govinda”.
The group of AIADMK workers in the video is led by former AIADMK City Secretary for Katpady, Appu, who is seen holding up the plate.
The video is thought to have been taken on January 1, after the group offered pujas and annadanam at alipiri. According to sources, the plate was offered by Appu on the occasion of Jayalalithaa’s birthday on February 24. Appu offered prayers to the lord for her well being along with good health and fortune, they said.
Watch the video here:
Chandrasekhar however, said that such a thing had never occurred before. “This is the first time something like this happened in Tirumula as we don't allow such things especially which are related to politicians,” he said.
According to TTD rules, the vigilance department does not allow any object with overt displays of political leanings or speeches. Political activities are strictly prohibited at Tirumala.