Two days after the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) Trust Board chairman resigned from his post, the YSRCP government on Friday appointed YV Subba Reddy as the new TTD chairman. He is expected to take office on Saturday.
YV Subba Reddy is a senior leader in the YSRCP and the maternal uncle of Andhra Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, who on Friday signed his appointment letter as the TTD chairman. He is expected to take office at 11 am on Saturday.
Subba Reddy is a former Member of Parliament from Ongole. He is a party loyalist but was denied a Lok Sabha seat this election. His Ongole seat was instead offered to Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy, sparking speculations that all was not well within the YSRCP inner circles. However, after the YSRCP government took office, reports about the TTD chairman post being offered to Subba Reddy surfaced.
Controversy soon erupted after false reports claimed that Subba Reddy was a Christian and not a Hindu, thus calling into question his appointment. Similar allegations were also made in 2018 against Putta Sudhakar Yadav accusing him of being a Christian. Clarifying his religious stand while speaking to media, Subba Reddy had earlier said, "I was born a Hindu and I will die a Hindu. These allegations and smear campaign against me hurt me deeply."
"Every year, I go to Sabarimala and every few months, I go to Shirdi. Tell those who are spreading such news to visit my residences in Hyderabad or Ongole. Let them see what kind of rituals we do. There is no merit to that baseless rumour," he said, before pulling out a pendant of Sri Venkateswara and showing it to the camera.
"Jagan put in a request asking if I could serve as TTD Chairman for some days and later go to the Rajya Sabha as the elections were still some time away. I take this responsibility as my fortune. I am very fortunate to serve Sri Venkateswara and to ensure that all devotees who visit the holy shrine are able to get their 'darshan' smoothly," he added.
The former TTD chairman Putta Subhakar Yadav, who was appointed during the earlier TDP government's regime, resigned from his post on Thursday. His resignation was approved by the TTD CEO Anil Kumar Singhal. The new TTD Governing Council is also expected to be selected in the coming week.