Special Correspondent

Soundararajan says he will hand over temple keys to Chief Minister alone

Officials charged with trying to confuse Government, public State has to decide constitution of board, says the convenor PILs to freeze Rs. 20-crore Endowments Administration FundDevotees to refrain from buying darshan tickets in any temple

HYDERABAD: Temples' Protection Movement convenor M.V. Soundararajan on Sunday announced that he would hand over Chilkur Balaji temple keys to Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy alone.

"Even if the proposed board of trustees is appointed by the Endowments Department by March 12, we will not hand over charge to the political trust board. The proposed appointment is a treacherous act of the department without the approval or the knowledge of the Chief Minister and Endowments Minister," he said in a statement.

The Chief Minister, he said, had agreed to review the 30/87 legislation exempting small temples from the purview of the Endowments Department but "his promise has been betrayed by the acquisition move of endowment officials," he pointed out.

Denouncing the move to take over the Balaji temple, he said department officials were trying to "confuse the Government and the general public."

"According to legal experts, the High Court has said that the decision to constitute the board is that of the Government and it can dispose of the case within three months. But, endowments officials are acting hastily as if doomsday is nearing," he maintained.

PILs to be filed

Saying that the move had caused unrest among lakhs of devotees, Mr. Soundararajan said the agitation would be intensified. Hundreds of public interest litigations (PILs) would be filed to freeze the Rs. 20-crore Endowments Administration Fund.

Members of the committee and devotees would refrain from buying darshan tickets in any of the temples, including Tirumala, from Monday.