TTD board chief Subba Reddy defends decision to sell properties

The practice has been in vogue since 1974, he says.

Updated - May 25, 2020 04:26 am IST

Published - May 24, 2020 10:49 pm IST - TIRUPATI

TTD Chairman Y.V. Subba Reddy. File

TTD Chairman Y.V. Subba Reddy. File

The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) decision to dispose of non-remunerative properties has kicked up a controversy with the entire Opposition taking objection to it.

Also read: BJP warns against ‘sale of TTD assets’

Seeking to clear the air, TTD trust board Chairman Y.V. Subba Reddy on Sunday said the decision to sell 50 immovable properties in remote locations through public auction was well within the board’s purview. He appealed to the devotees not to get carried away by reports that “triggered confusion and hurt the sentiments of pilgrims.”

‘Govt. has no role’

“The practice of selling immovable and non-maintainable properties has been in vogue since 1974, as 129 such properties were disposed of between 1974 and 2014,” he said. It was at the board meeting held on July 28, 2015, headed by the then Chairman Chadalawada Krishnamurthy that resolution No.84 was passed to form a sub-committee to study the prospects of auctioning such properties. The meeting on January 30, 2016, gave the nod to the sub-committee’s proposal to dispose of 50 such properties that ranged between one cent and ten cents, tucked away from the mainland and thus difficult to monitor and maintain. “This board only continued the process. The State government has nothing to do with the TTD’s decision,” Mr. Subba Reddy said.

Responding on behalf of the State, Government Whip and TTD board member Chevireddy Bhaskar Reddy wondered how the TDP and the BJP, which were part of the erstwhile board’s decision, could now oppose it. Mr. Reddy also brushed aside rumours that the amount received through the auction would be taken away by the State government, pointing out that it would go only to the TTD’s exchequer.

“This government will not do anything that would undermine the importance of Sri Venkateswara,” he said.

Meanwhile, addressing media persons in Guntur, State BJP president Kanna Lakshminarayana said his party cadres would organise protests across the State on May 26 against the government’s attempts to sell the properties of temples, including those of TTD.

Mr. Lakshminarayana said it was highly objectionable to sell the properties of temples for whatever reason and going about it in a secretive manner.

He pointed out the lands belonging to Simhachalam temple were encroached over the years but successive governments have done nothing to reclaim them.

The BJP would not let the government to sell even a single square yard of land belonging to the temples, particularly the properties of TTD, he added..

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