TTD’s Officer on Special Duty (OSD), Tirumala temple, N. Seshadri, better known as ‘Dollar’ Seshadri who is in the eye of a storm, virtually burst into tears before the media over what he called the ‘canards’ being spread against him by the media and his critics.
The oft-made complaint against him is the propriety and the necessity for the TTD management to keeping him still incharge of the ‘Bokkasam’ even after his retirement two years ago. ‘Bokkasam’ is the safety vault in the temple where the antiquated and invaluable ornaments of Lord Venkateswara are kept and periodically adorned to the deity.
In fact he faced rough weather last year also when he could not account for about 280 gold medallions (dollars) kept in his charge for sale to devotees in the temple. He and two senior officials of the TTD also had to be kept under suspension for their alleged ‘dereliction of duty’. But all the three were however subsequently reinstated reportedly on the ground that there was no prima facie evidence to prove their complicity in the case and also inview of mounting pressure from the TTD staff union and the then Tirupati MLA and MP on the management saying that the extreme step against three senior officials without a detailed enquiry was ‘unwarranted’.
After a brief respite, the simmering discontent against Mr. Seshadri had once again flared up now for two reasons, one in the wake of a detailed inventory ordered by the AP High Court on the basis of a PIL filed by a devotee expressing concern over the safety of the Lord’s riches in the back drop of the ‘dollar’ scam and secondly due to last week’s incident when a TTD sub-temple priest pawned the deity’s jewel for Rs.10 lakhs to meet his ‘family troubles’.
Refuting the charges levelled against him, he asserted that he was no longer in-charge of the ‘Bokkasam’ and was only an advisor. He further maintained that all the ornaments of the deity were intact and safe as ever and that the whole rumpus being created over the issue was needless if not baseless.