Andhra Pradesh Endowments Minister P Manikyala Rao stated that the state government would not hurt anyone's sentiments while appointing the Chairman of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) Trust Board.
The Minister was reacting to reports that suggested that the state could appoint TDP leader Putta Sudhakar Yadav for the post.
The TTD governs the Lord Venkateswara temple atop Tirumala, which is the richest Hindu temple in the world.
The Hindu reported that social media was abuzz with posts claiming that Yadav was not a 'Hindu' and supported members of another faith. The Minister said that those allegations were yet to be established.
The government hasn’t announced anything officially so far.
It has been five months since Chadalavada Krishna Murthy completed his two-year term in office and retired, and the TTD has been without a Chairman since then.
The New Indian Express reported that Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu was Yadav's relative, and lobbied with Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu to take a decision in his favour.
Meanwhile, Yadav seems to be sure of bagging the post.
"I am waiting for the government order (GO). If appointed, I will ensure that all decisions taken will be in the interest of devotees. I will take enough care to see that there is no divide between officials and the trust board. All decisions will be collective in nature," he told TNIE.
In May this year, IAS officer Anil Kumar Singhal took charge as the new Executive Officer (EO) of the TTD, much to the displeasure of some.
Actor-politician Pawan Kalyan was one of those, who hit out against the decision.
"I am not against 'North Indian IAS' officials taking charge of TTD, but would they allow any south Indian to take up an administrative position of a sacred shrine in north India?" he had tweeted at the time.
Listing holy places to Hindus in north India, like Amarnath, Varanasi and Mathura, Kalyan said, "When they don't allow south Indians to head it, why should south Indians accept this?"
"I wonder how the TDP and honourable Chief Minister allowed this to happen. They owe an explanation to AP and the people of the south," Kalyan concluded.