The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) Board’s decision to dispose of its ‘unmanageable’ 23 properties has kicked up nationwide outcry. Some Hindu institutions even threatened to knock the doors of the courts. The present board has the backing of the Jaganmohan Reddy-led government.
The ruling party suspects its rival Telugu Desam’s hand in the controversy, which, they say, is bent upon painting the Jaganmohan Reddy government as anti-Hindu and pro-Christians. Coming at a time when the ruling YSRCP is celebrating its first anniversary in power, it hurriedly issued a government order imposing a blanket ban on selling of any TTD properties henceforth.
When Outlook contacted the TTD Chairman Y.V. Subba Reddy, who also happens to be the maternal uncle of the Chief Minister, he termed the reports of auctioning of the temple property as "rumours". "No decision has been taken yet. True, the previous Board appointed by the TDP government, which also had the BJP members, had taken such a decision. We only reviewed it and issued a notification of sort by appointing teams to go and inspect the properties, which were donated by devotees located in far-flung areas like in neighbouring Tamil Nadu,” he says.
"The same notification at the end clearly asks the teams to submit a report after the examining properties physically of their feasibility to the Board to take it forward.”
According to the TTD, a section of the media had sensationalised the news as 'auction notice'. It says the Opposition is misleading the people and whipping up their sentiments.
"As custodian of TTD, I will never allow any property belonging to the Tirupati temple to be sold," Reddy said. He said the properties in question are small holdings, of two Cents of commercial land or half acre of agriculture land. The TTD Board will hold parleys with Hindu bodies and take their suggestions how best these properties can be protected.