The State government on Sunday made it clear that it will not hesitate to intervene in the affairs of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) if temple authorities fail to keep their house in order.

Though unhappy with the frequent controversies in TTD it has decided to give some more time to the authorities to resolve its problems.

The government has asked the TTD board chairman, members and officials to adhere to its guidelines in the wake of row between its Officer on Special Duty A.V. Dharma Reddy and the Chief Priest Ramana Deekshitulu over the hereditary priesthood system in Tirumala temple and roster system of archakas. Mr. Deekshitulu who was up in arms against Mr. Dharma Reddy has recently met Chief Minister K. Rosaiah and explained about the ‘harassment' and poor working conditions in the temple.

Swift action

After this, the government has reacted swiftly and asked the board to adopt hereditary priesthood system since the Endowments Act was amended to this effect long ago. Speaking to The Hindu, Endowments Minister Gade Venkata Reddy said: “We don't want to involve in every issue since TTD Board itself can set the house in order by following its own guidelines. However, the government will have to intervene if it fails to do so.”

He indicated that no action would be initiated against Mr. Dharma Reddy since many issues including unauthorised sale of Arjita seva tickets were being dealt by courts apart from TTD's own Vigilance Department. Moreover, the officer belonged to Defence Services and it was administratively not possible to initiate direct action against him by the State government.

Meanwhile, Convenor of AP Temple Properties' Protection Committee and BJP-State wing spokesperson N.V.S.S. Prabhakar demanded that the government sack Mr. Dharma Reddy immediately since his involvement in many scams was evident with TTD's vigilance report.

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