With the death of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, all eyes are on seven key people associated with the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust (SSSCT), who may call the shots from now on.
With Sai Baba leaving a huge spiritual empire of an estimated Rs. 40,000 crore but not a successor, the following people may decide on the coming events at Puttaparthi.
K. Chakravarthi: A former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) official and the only trust member with cheque signing power. A former Collector of Anantapur district, Mr. Chakravarthi, who hails from Tamil Nadu, quit the IAS on Sai Baba's advice and joined him in 1981. Considered an authority on financial matters, he served as the Registrar of the Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning till 1994, when the Baba made him the trust secretary.
S.V. Giri: The former IAS official had served as the Chief Vigilance Commissioner. He too resigned his job in 1998 to become the Vice-Chancellor of Sri Sathya Sai University. He was instrumental in building a network of Sai educational institutions.
P.N. Bhagwati: The former Chief Justice of India is the most well-known and respectable face of the Trust. A staunch devotee of the Sai Baba, he joined the Trust as its member on the Baba's advice.
Indulal Shah: A chartered accountant-turned entrepreneur. He is the founder and international adviser of Sri Sathya Sai Seva organisations and runs the global network of Sai institutions.
Venu Srinivasan: The chairman and managing director of TVS Motors heads the Indian chapter of the Sai network of institutions.
R.J. Ratnakar: The only family member of Sai Baba on the Trust. The Baba made his nephew a member in 2010 in place of his father, Janaki Ramaiah, who died in 2005. The 39-year-old runs a cable TV network in Puttaparthi and owns a petrol bunk.
Baba's personal caregiver Satyajit: Though not a member of the Trust, he was very close to Sai Baba as his personal caregiver. Last year, the Baba is believed to have suggested that Satyajit be made a member of the Trust.
The 33-year-old Satyajit, also hailing from Tamil Nadu, has done his MBA from the Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. He joined the Sathya Sai school at the age of five.