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Updated: February 7, 2011 16:34 IST

ASI: BJP threatens stir over TTD proposal

Special Correspondent
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A file picture of senior BJP leader Bandaru Dattatreya speaking to the newsmen in Nellore. Photo: K. Ravi Kumar
THE HINDU A file picture of senior BJP leader Bandaru Dattatreya speaking to the newsmen in Nellore. Photo: K. Ravi Kumar

The BJP has threatened to launch an agitation if the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) went ahead with the proposal to handover maintenance of temples at Tirumala and surrounding places to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

At a press conference here on Sunday, former State BJP president Bandaru Dattatreya asked Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy to clear air on the proposal by making a statement or face the agitation. Mr. Dattatreya said the proposal was made by TTD Executive Officer I.Y.R. Krishna Rao out of unfounded apprehensions that the shrine of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala might cave in like the ‘gopuram' of Srikalahasti temple if it was not entrusted to Archaeological Survey of India.

Mr. Rao took a unilateral decision on behalf of the specified authority of TTD without consulting ‘mathadipatis' and ‘peethadipatis'.

It hurt the sentiments of Hindu society.

He sought scrapping of the authority as it had lost moral right to continue because it was clear that the step was taken bowing to political pressure.

Mr. Rao might not have taken the decision without knowledge of the Chief Minister, he added.

The BJP leader said the consequence of the decision was far reaching as the State government would forfeit its right to conduct on its own any programme at Tirumala. The government would have to take the permission of the Central government.

Instead, he wanted the maintenance to be handed over to the Hindu Dharma Parishad as it can enlist the support of ‘agama sastra' pandits in fulfilling the task.

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