TIRUPATI: The Opposition parties including the BJP and the Rayalaseema Porata Samiti have demanded that the YSR Congress-led state government reshuffle the trust board of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) or face protests.
They alleged that people with questionable credentials and “unemployed” politicians were included in the board.
A day ago, the government nominated 24 regular members along with four ex-officio members and 52 special invitees for the TTD board. It made clear that the special invitees will not have the voting right while passing resolutions at board meetings, but they will have privileges on par with TTD trust board members as regards darshan.
The appointment of these special invitees drew criticism from various quarters. Addressing the media here on Thursday, Bhanu Prakash Reddy, former TTD board member and BJP leader, wondered why the government opted for a gigantic trust board. “Instead, the CM could have done it in his own temple, by constituting a YSRCP devasthanam or Jagan devasthanam, but not in TTD,” he said.
He said the TTD should not be filled with “politically unemployed” people.
Reddy said that as per the TTD’s expenditure domain, the chairman and member of the board shall not receive (or be paid) any salary or remuneration from the TTD funds (other than) honorarium or compensatory or travelling, accommodation, food and conveyance allowances as prescribed, during their visits to the Tirumala hills to attend the board meeting.
He said, “The TTD spends approximately Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh per month towards these expenses. Though a few members didn’t collect any allowance, a majority of them collect and cause an additional burden on the TTD. Apart from this, each member gets a quota of at least 20 break darshan and 30 special entry darshan tickets (each costing Rs 300) per day."
He said, this meant that, if all the trustees opt to utilise their full quota, the TTD will have to provide 1,620 break and 2,430 special entry tickets per day. "This will cause inconvenience to commoners,” he said while demanding that the state rehash the TTD board to avoid such a burden on TTD.
Rayalaseema Porata Samithi convener Naveen Kumar Reddy said the jumbo trust board will put an additional burden on TTD and this will further enhance the temple’s spend on allowances. He urged the chief minister and TTD board chairman to look into this “unnecessary spend.”
“TTD has to bear the travel expenditures while transferring the trustees from their place of origin to Tirumala to attend the board meeting. Besides, they are given darshan tickets, accommodation and food. The nominated trustees are here to serve the Lord. Hence they should spend their own money to come here and attend the meeting,” he said, while pleading that the government reconsider the order regarding the induction of special invitees.
Ex-officio and special invitee of TTD board takes oath
Meanwhile, Tirupati legislator Bhumana Karunakar Reddy and TUDA chairman-cum- Chandragiri MLA Chevireddy Bhaskar Reddy were administered oaths as special invitee and ex-officio member of the TTD trust board at Tirumala temple on Thursday.
The Tirupati MLA was administered the oath as special invitee by the TTD additional EO Dharma Reddy. After having darshan of Lord Venkateswara, they were given Vedasirvachanam and presented with Theertha Prasadams.
Speaking to the media outside the temple, Karunakar Reddy said, “With the benign blessings of Lord Venkateswara, I have got a second-time opportunity to serve as special invitee of the TTD trust board.”
“Earlier too, the TTD board under the chairmanship of Y.V. Subba Reddy executed a lot of spiritual, devotional and pilgrim-welfare activities. We will continue our efforts to serve the pilgrims. I thank chief minister Jaganmohan Reddy for giving me this opportunity," he said.
Earlier, the chairman of the Tirupati Urban Development Authority (TUDA) Bhaskar Reddy took oath as ex-officio member of the TTD Trust Board in the Srivari temple. This is his second term as the ex-officio member of TTD board, in the capacity of TUDA chairman, after the YSRC formed the state government....