The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), which governs the Lord Venkateswara temple atop Tirumala, issued legal notices to its former chief priest AV Ramana Dikshitulu and YSR Congress MP Vijaya Sai Reddy over allegations made by them against temple officials.
According to reports, the notice states that the duo 'maligned the image of the shrine and hurt the sentiments of the devotees' with 'unsubstantiated' claims and statements.
The decision to issue the notices was reportedly taken during a recently-held meeting of the TTD board with chairman Putta Sudhakar Yadav.
While Deekshitulu is yet to respond to the notice, Vijay Sai Reddy claimed that he was yet to receive one.
The YSR Congress General Secretary and Rajya Sabha member alleged that Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu was trying to misuse TTD Board for political purpose.
"TTD comes under Endowments Act and there is a separate chapter to deal with it. When we have given some information, TTD cannot give a notice to us but can seek additional information or the source of the information and to the best of my knowledge no such notice was served on me. I have been on the Board of TTD for four years and the procedures are known to me," he told reporters in Hyderabad.
"In the TTD assets issue, Chandrababu Naidu is the accused and we have charged him and his son Lokesh with the vanishing and illegal transport of the jewellery of the world famous temple to other shores. They are the accused who need to get notice from any investigating authority. We stand as the witness and a CBI inquiry should be ordered immediately to know the facts," he added.
In May, Deekshithulu was sacked by authorities on the grounds that he exceeded the retirement age limit. However, this unceremonious sacking came after he levelled shocking allegations against the TTD administration on financial irregularities, and also raised suspicion that several precious ornaments from the temple were missing.
He also claimed that the pink diamond which had been part of the platinum necklace of Lord Venkateshwara, had been stolen and smuggled to Geneva. Making these shocking allegations, Deekshithulu demanded for a CBI inquiry, and also pressed for bringing the TTD under the ambit of the RTI for transparency.
Meanwhile, the TTD accused Deekshitulu of ‘politicising’ temple affairs and threatened to take legal action against him.