Board accused of failing to protect sanctity of Tirumala
Tirupati: The row over the Youth Congress’ car rally could not have come at a more inappropriate time for the State Government and the TTD Trust Board. The Opposition parties especially the BJP and the TDP which were already itching for a showdown with the present TTD Board are going hammer and tongs at it and have fairly succeeded in deriving maximum political mileage out of it.
The BJP which had spearheaded a campaign against the TTD vis-a-vis the proselytisation scandal and the ‘Seven Hills’ controversy, is now back at it and in the process its cadres on Friday staged a novel protest demanding the dismissal of the present TTD Trust Board for failing to protect the sanctity of Tirumala.
The BJP and BJYM cadres pitched a tent in front of the TTD’s headquarters here and stood upside down to symbolically state that evertying was ‘topsy-turvy’ in the TTD. They wanted that at least now the Government must try to nominate Peethadipatis and Mathadhipatis and people with a religious bent of mind so that they don’t play into the hands of the political powers that be.
The TDP, besides kicking up a row on the issue in the Assembly and the council as well, has held demonstrations before the TTD office crying hoarse over the incident. Out to embarrass the TTD which is already on the backfoot unable to defend and neutralise the negative impact of a sporadic incident as this, the TDP is demanding the scalp of the board chairman. At a press conference, the district party leaders led by M.V. Prasad have given a point by point rebuttal to all the charges that the TTD chairman Karunakar Reddy levelled against the TDP. Reddy cited the demolition of the Veyyikalla mandapam, setting up of Imax theatre, shopping mal etc in this connection which was however pooh-poohed by the district TDP leaders.
They said that though it was the TDP regime which had demolished the heritage mandapam and paid the political price for it (by losing the Tirupati seat), it is the present TTD set-up which is fully enjoying the benefit of the enormous lung space created around the otherwise crowded temple. As for the Imax theatre etc, Prasad said that though a survey was done , the TDP dropped it the moment it found that there were dissent notes from the pilgrims.
As for the TTD management which is in a ‘once bitten twice shy’ predicament especially for the ‘security lapse’, it is subjecting all the Tirumala-bound vehicles for a prolonged checking ignoring the plight of the pilgrims. It is using all the security gadgets to scan the vehicles and the baggages.
Besides filing a police complaint, It has also ordered a probe into the entire gamut of the issue.
Meanwhile, Ch. Bhaskar Reddy, TTD Board Member whom the Opposition and the media are accusing of being responsible for ensuring a safe passage to the vehicles carrying crackers. to Tirumala, has in a statement tonight vowed to file libel suit against those who dragged his name into the controversy.