Politics rule roost over TTD

The TTD, a mark of divinity and sanctity, has turned out to be a source for satisfying the ambitions of political loyalists of powers that be.

Lord Venkateswara, known to be the richest God presiding over properties worth more than Rs.1,00,0oo Cr  and with a whopping annual budget of Rs.2000 Cr , is served by around 6000 employees. The temple’s average annual income is around Rs.600 Cr.

Even as the clamour for making the TTD administration more pious and sacred is growing day by day, the government has been caring two hoots for such demands. Throwing to the winds the demand for nominating religious personalities and persons of impeccable track record to the TTD Board, the Government has been resorting to political appointments to satisfy the whims and fancies of political leaders.

There is no place for religious heads or spiritual leaders in the TTD Board which is meant to spearhead the Hindu Dharma and tenants. The temple, established 1900 years ago by the Pallava King Thondaiman, has been gradually turned into a political institution by successive chief ministers.

The latest reconstitution of the TTD Board, for which orders were issued Saturday midnight, is only a reflection of the prevailing tendency of politicizing the sacred institution.

As the TTD Board Chairman and other members are political personalities or industrialists, the temple administration is relieved of its sanctity once again.

Former MLA GV Srinath Reddy, who switched over to the Congress from the TDP two years ago, has been nominated to the Board by Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy to keep his rival Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy under check.

Kiran Kumar made the appointment to consolidate his position in Pileru so that he would not have any rivalry in the constituency.  Kirankumar also wants to promote Srinath Reddy so that the political fortunes of Ramachandra Reddy could be negated fully in the days ahead.

Another controversial appointment to the TTD Board is that of LR Siva Prasad, a close relative of Congress Rajya Sabha member and mega star Chiranjeevi. Observers feel the appointment has been made to satisfy the mega star.

IT officials recovered a huge sum of Rs.35 Cr from industrialist Siva Prasad after a sudden raid on his offices and premises in May last. In this backdrop, his nomination to the board has become questionable.

Almost all chief ministers including NT Rama Rao and Chandrababu Naidu have resorted to the practice of making political appointments to the TTD Board and Kiran Kumar is no exception.


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