Former Rajampet MLA and YSR Congress Party leader Akepati Amarnath Reddy staged a day-long dharna in front of the 108-foot giant statue of saint-lyricist Tallapaka Annamacharya near Rajampet on Saturday accusing Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams officials of nominally organising Annamacharya Jayanthi and Vardhanti programmes, without mooting development of Tallapaka village into a pilgrim tourist centre.

Express solidarity

Residents of Tallapaka, Annamacharya devotees and YSR Congress Party functionaries participated in the protest expressing solidarity to the former MLA. Mr. Amarnath Reddy recalled that during Annamacharya's 600th Jayanthi celebrations in May 2006, former Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, then TTD Chairman B. Karunakar Reddy and then EO K.V. Ramanachari, promised TTD funds and installation of a 108-foot Annamacharya statue, Annamayya theme park, library and tourist hotel at Tallapaka, but no other facility came up so far except the 108-foot statue.

Promise

Notwithstanding the promise to perform Sri Venkateswara kalyanotsavam and Annamacharya jayanthi and vardhanthi programmes in a grand manner, the TTD was organising them nominally and tardily, the former MLA alleged. The TTD failed to sanction funds for development of Tallapaka and its surroundings, he alleged.

Former Rajampet mandal president Konduru Ramaraju, former market committee chairman Choppa Yella Reddy, leaders Subba Reddy, Nagasudhakar Reddy, advocates and former sarpanches of Nandalur and Tallapaka participated.