Special Correspondent

According to reports, about four aspirants already in capital trying to pull strings to secure the post

TIRUPATI: With the coveted Chairperson's post of the Tirupati Urban Development Authority remaining vacant for the last one month, a rat race is on to ascend the seat, as it would bring under their thumb more than 100 villages around Tirupati spread over Srikalahasti, Nagari, Chandragiri and Tirupati Assembly constituencies.

Reports reaching here from Hyderabad indicate that about four aspirants have already anchored themselves at the power centre and are trying to pull strings through their godfathers to secure the plum post.

What made the post more lucrative during the YSR regime was the government making the TUDA Chairperson (YSR's protégé B. Karunakara Reddy at that time) an ex-officio member on the TTD Trust Board.

This is what all the more queers the pitch for the race to bag the post.

Meanwhyile, with rumours making rounds and vernacular print and electronic media carrying stories that the Tirumala/Tirupati-based representative of a leading industrial house is a front runner for the post, the Tirupati MP, Chintha Mohan has issued a hurried statement on Wednesday scotching the ‘rumours'.

The reports and rumours are not true, he said.

The MP who is closely monitoring the hectic lobbying going on for the post, as part of his own strategy to get his own ‘confidant' pitch forked to the post, in view of the stakes involved for himself in the appointment, has in his statement sought to assert that the ‘candidate' would be nominated by the government purely on ‘merit basis'.