Roja questions secrecy over TTD ritual

‘Decision to stop darshan at Balaji temple for 6 days unfair’

July 17, 2018 12:50 am | Updated 12:50 am IST - Tirumala

R.K. Roja

R.K. Roja

YSRCP MLA RK Roja on Monday questioned the propriety behind the TTD’ s decision not to record the proceedings of the Ashta Bandhana Balalaya Maha Samprokshanam ritual in its CCTV cameras installed inside the main temple complex.

The decision seems to have been prompted by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy’s announcement that he would file a PIL in the Supreme court. Video footages relating to digging works taken up in the temple kitchen (potu) in the past are said to be missing. These actions give strength to the suspicion that an attempt was being made to hide something, she said.

‘Who gave the orders?’

Ms. Roja said the Asta Bandhana ritual is not new and never in the past darshan was denied to devotees during the performance of the ritual. The TTD should explain from whom the instructions came — Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu or board chairman Putta Sudhakar Yadav. When the ritual was performed in the years 1994 and 2006, darshan was stopped for a brief period, but now it is being done for six days, from August 11 to August 16. The management did not spare a thought for the pilgrims who have already booked their slots, she added.

The MLA warned that she would mobilise devotees if the decision is not reversed.

On Union Minister Ramdas Athwale’s statement that the YSRCP was welcome to join the NDA, Ms. Roja said the former was not a member of the BJP and the remark should be viewed as his personal opinion.

She made it clear that the YSRCP would go it alone in the coming elections.

‘Don’t involve students

in govt. programmes’

Chittoor Staff Reporter adds: Ms. Roja accused the CM of playing with the lives of schoolchildren by forcing them to attend programmes organised by government departments. Referring to the recent boat tragedy in the Godavari, she said the schoolchildren were returning after attending the Forest Department’s Vanam Manam programme. She said there would more such incidents if the practice was not discontinued forthwith.

Speaking to the media at Nagari, Ms. Roja sought compensation of ₹20 lakh each to the kin of the victims. She alleged that even after several boat tragedies, the government had turned a blind eye to the illegal boat operations. Earlier, she donated 100 ceiling fans with contributions made from her charitable trust to the government schools in Nagari mandal.

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