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Tirupati priests call on Andhra CM after reinstatement


Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) chief priest A. V. Ramana Deekshitulu and other priests called on Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday, following their reinstatement.

The priests presented Lord Venkateswara Swamy’s prasadam (consecrated food) to Reddy and thanked him for reinstating 15 hereditary priests associated with the temples under the TTD.

The priests are associated with the Tirumala Venkateswara Swamy temple, Tirupati Govindaraja Swamy temple and Thiruchanur Sri Padmavathi Ammavari temple.

The reinstatements come as a consequence of Andhra Pradesh High Court judgment in December 2018, acting on the writ petitions filed by the priests after the TTD board retired all priests above 65 years of age.

Many senior priests were forcibly retired back in May 2018 during the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) rule.

Though the Court ordered immediate reinstatement, it did not happen.

Before coming to power, Reddy promised that he would reinstate the fired priests which happened now.

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Deekshitulu wishes God’s blessings for Jagan


Ramana Deekshitulu has become the chief priest of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) once again. He waited for over 2 years for this opportunity. At one time, he lost patience and passed some serious comments against the Jagan Reddy regime. Now, amid the Tirupati bypoll, the TTD revived his post.

As such, it is the payback season for all. Deekshitulu has immediately come before the people and began signing all praise of CM Jagan Reddy. He has wished for the God’s blessings to the Chief Minister and to protect his rule. When dharma is harmed, the God will appear among the people to set it right. The CM has made sure that dharma would be re-established in the TTD and the archakas would forever be indebted to him.

Deekshitulu further said that he prayed to the God of Seven Hills for an uninterrupted continuation of the Jagan Reddy regime for all its good deeds.

The TTD decision to bring back Ramana Deekshitulu and other archakas has undoubtedly been aimed at having a positive impact in the byelection. Rep[orts say the YCP is forced to do this in the face of the BJP making rapid inroads to split the pro-YCP vote back among the Hindus.

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TTD surprise amid bypoll on old court order


The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) took a sudden decision and issued an instant order for taking back retired TTD archakas into duty. With this, CM Jagan Reddy’s admirer Ramana Deekshitulu and others are going to come back into their old positions. Ramana Deekshitulu will assume charge as the chief priest now.

Interestingly, the latest TTD decision was based on the orders of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh that were issued way back in 2018. In fact, Ramana Deekshitulu has approached and urged the Chief Minister for this decision immediately after the YCP came to power. But, his request has been kept pending for the past 2 years. Now, TTD Chairman SV Subba Reddy has come out with this sudden decision amid the Tirupati parliamentary bypoll.

Actually, the previous TDP regime implemented the retirement rules in May, 2018. At that time, chief priest Ramana Deekshitulu and others got retired as they crossed the age of 65 years. At that time, Ramana Deekshitulu and his followers have declared a open war and passed sensational comments on pink diamond to embarrass Chandrababu Naidu.

For different reasons, once again, the YCP regime took the present decision apparently to appease Ramana Deekshitulu and others. The move is being seen as an attempt by the YCP to attract the Hindu voters in the bypoll.

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Ramana Deekshitulu takes to Twitter for CM Jagan help


Everybody knows how all YSR family loyalists got immediate access to YS Jaganmohan Reddy prior to the 2019 elections. The same was the case with the likes of Ramana Deekshitulu. After the YSRCP victory, he got his dream fulfilled as CM Jagan Reddy has helped to get the chief priest post at TTD for Deekshitulu. But various hurdles came in the way even as Ramana Deekshitulu no longer have those friendly relations with the ruling party leaders and also CM like before the elections.

Now, Deekshitulu’s conditions became one of those countless people who were taking to Twitter to make their representations to the Chief Minister. He made it clear in his post that the Chief Minister had directed the TTD officials to officially name him the chief priest of the Tirumala Temple. But till now, no such formalities have been finalised. Deekshitulu, in his latest Twitter post, urged the CM to make sure that his earliers orders be implemented by the officials.

Analysts say that all is not well with the likes of Ramana Deekshitulu ever since CM Jagan turned unfriendly towards former Chief Secretary LV Subrahmanyam on the issue of persons of other faiths working at Tirumala Temple premises. Deekshitulu has excellent rapport with TTD Chairman SV Subba Reddy till recently. Gradually, the dissenting voice being expressed by Deekshitulu has led to a situation wherein he is no longer able to make personal representations to the powers that be. No wonder, Ramana Deekshitulu may soon raise his voice like he did against the Chandrababu Naidu regime in the past.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Ramana Deekshitulu sensational comment on AP Govt

Ramana Deekshitulu is known for stirring controversies with his simple statements on TTD. After Jagan Reddy became Chief Minister, Deekshitulu got the post of honorary chief priest. He went into silence and almost oblivion ever since. No controversies around issues like pink diamond and the like. But, all of a sudden, he made a tweet in reply to controversial BJP leader Subrahmanya Swamy. This has now created a sensation as it targetted the control of the AP Government over the TTD affairs.

Ramana Deekshitulu welcomed Subrahmanya Swamy’s message that Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams would soon follow several other temples to be relieved from the Government control. They are hoping that TTD, along with four major temples in Uttarakhand, will be freed once the court’s orders are out. As of now, the orders are reserved.

For all practical purposes, Ramana Deekshitulu has been silent and widely seen as a supporter of the YSR family. Whatever decisions that are being taken by the ruling YCP, it went without saying that Deekshitulu would support them. The pink diamond issue that he stirred during Chandrababu Naidu regime, indeed gave one of the big election issues for YCP to attack Naidu. Such a pro-YCP Deekshitulu has now mustered some courage to openly air his views against the Government control on TTD. Seeing his temperament, CM Jagan Reddy may not tolerate this. No wonder, Deekshitulu will also be given the same treatment like that of ex Chief Secretary LV Subrahmanyam.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Ramana Deekshitulu Controversy: Issue, Reports and Paradoxes

Where it started?

It all started when Ramana Deekshitulu had personally welcomed Amit Shah on May 11 when he, along with his family, visited the Tirumala temple after completing the election campaigning in neighbouring Karnataka. Remember, there was stone pelting on Shah’s convoy on the same day by TDP cadre/ local people.

Just welcoming Shah wouldn’t have caused an issue but the priest also had a personel meeting with Shah and explained ‘a few’ things to him. Deekshitulu too admitted that he briefed Shah about the ‘anomalies’ happening in the temple. Deekshitulu didn’t stop there but he went to Chennai to address a press conference and made serious allegations against the TTD and TDP government.

Why Ramana Deekshitulu had to retire?

A BJP led political conspiracy was suspected by TTD and TDP. To counter the attack by Deekshitulu, TTD announced the retirement of five chief priests including Deekshitulu, citing rules under which no priest can serve after 65.

What allegations Ramana Deekshitulu made?

One, unauthorised digging of the kitchen area of the temple was done on December 8. It was first time in more than a thousand years to do so. He alleged that this digging was done to look for a hidden treasures donated by the Chola and Pallava kings.

Two, TTD officials are diverting funds and jewels. One pink diamond belonging to here was smuggled out of the country.

Three, Even though TTD has “Go-shalas” TTD is getting milk and other dairy products from Heritege owned by CBN’s family.

What is this Pink Diamond story?

A large pink diamond, rare for its color and clarity, was among several major jewels at Sotheby’s auction in Geneva, late 2017 at an estimate 20 – 30 million USD. The Raj Pink, the rare 37.3 carat stone, was the highlight of the Sotheby’s sale of precious jewels. Ramana Deekshitulu, alleged that it belonged to the Tirumala. He said that the Mysore Maharaja had donated the platinum necklace studded with pink diamond, the rarest of the rare variety of diamonds. He recalled adorning the jewel on the Balaji idol till 2001. He said the Chief Vigilance Officer, an IPS officer, had recorded the missing pink diamond in the registers as broken due to throwing of coins at the idol by devotees. He alleged, because of ‘mismanagement’ that diamond crossed borders.

What reply did TTD give on these allegations?

TTD’s Executive Officer Anil Kumar Singhal denied all these allegations. he said the records were well maintained since 1956 and two committees led by Justice Wadhva and M Jagannadham had validated it. He said the pink diamond mentioned by Deekshitulu was in fact a ruby, which broke when it fell down during one of the processions. Singhal elaborated that the necklace in which the ruby was embedded was donated by the Maharaja of Mysore in 1945 . He added, former TTD EO IYR Krishna Rao submitted a report to the state government in 2010 stating that the broken stone was a ruby and not a pink diamond as claimed.

Reports and Statements :

There has been hue and cry at times regarding TTD mismanagement of funds and there have been committees to look into the issue.

Justice D P Wadhwa committee: A six-member committee headed by former judge of Supreme Court Justice D P Wadhwa visited Tirumala in September 2010 to verify whether the jewels and precious donations made by Vijayanagara emperor Srikrishna Devaraya as mentioned in `Tiruvabharanam’ register of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) are intact or not. It was YSR regime and the opposition parties including TDP and PRP took out padayatras to the hill temple as a part of their “Save Tirumala” campaign in 2010. Both TDP and PRP faulted the report of Justice Wadhwa committee, who gave a clean chit to TTD in January 2010. Justice Wadhwa committee submitted its 137-page report, including 22 recommendations to TTD in Jan 2010.

Justice Jagannatha Rao committee: Justice Jagannatha Rao said (2010) the Tiruvabharanam register, being maintained in Tirumala temple since 1952, had no mention of any temple ornaments received from Vijayanagar emperor Krishnadevaraya. The committee concluded that all the items were intact

I.Y.R. Krishna Rao’s statement: Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanams (TTD) Then executive officer I.Y.R. Krishna Rao, who is now criticizing TDP and CBN on several issues, had asserted in his 2010 report that the Devasthanams has been maintaining a fool-proof inventory system and records of all the precious ornaments.

Ironies and Paradoxes

The issue and controversy are one thing but the paradoxes surrounding it are interesting, from analysts point of view.

Paradox-1: The ruling TDP is now saying there was no mismanagement in TTD but in 2010, it was TDP that made huge hue and cry alleging mismanagement by TTD and YSR’s government. TDP only started “Save Tirumala” campaign then. Now the same TTD asserting there was no mismanagement.

Paradox-2: To support their stand of “no mismanagement in Tirumala”, TDP leaders and TTD taking help of Wadhwa and Jagannadh committee reports. But when these committees gave reports, it was TDP that raised eye brows on these reports and raised doubts on the reports.

Paradox-3: IYR Krishna Rao, who has been finding faults with all TDP decisions and actions recently, was the one who gave clean chit to TTD then.

Also it is to be noted, Ramana Deekshitulu, who is raising voice now, has been silent all these years. Why he waited for so long to open up on these issues, is unanswered question.


Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Unholy fight at holy Tirumala irks devotees


The government and the TTD on one side and the priests and the Brahmin community on the other, have locked horns over alleged irregularities happening on the top of the seven hills. The most shocking is the allegation on violations of faith including denial of teerdha prasadam to the Lord.

The government claims that chief priest Ramana Deekshitulu was made to retire as per the existing rules. But, the community and some faithful intellectuals reject the government’s point of view and claim that the duties of serving the God are bound by the faith of the person and not the rule of law.

The BJP had taken up the issue dragging it from the Seven Hills to the national capital and even to the doors of the Supreme Court. The administrative irregularities can be discussed and judged by the courts of law. But the issue of faith is something different and one wonders how a priest is made to retire at certain age. The work of the priest in the temple is not an employment where files can be cleared by the successor. It is not just faith here. It is something to do with the practices that are followed to worship the God. The practices are important to protect and keep up the sanctity of the place that increases the faith of the people. This has nothing to do with the age as it has to be passed on to the future generations.

One wonders why the issue had come up now. If one looks back to the sequence of events happened around Tirumala this month, the flashpoint started after the visit of BJP national chief Amit Shah. The BJP chief had worshipped the presiding deity Lord Venkateswara after completing the electioneering in Karnataka. The BJP chief had the darshan of the deity while the TDP leaders were holding protest outside the temple.

The newly formed TTD, which is more loyal to the TDP, seems to have found itself uncomfortable with Shah given the traditional welcome and offered rituals. That is what appears as the flash point for the row. The priest who had received Shah was kicked out by the TTD forcing him to retire as per the rules. The kicked out priest had again rushed to Shah giving scope for everyone to suspect as if the current row is political and is between the TDP and the BJP.

Charges of corruption are not new to the TTD and we have been hearing them year after the year. The money involved in various works or the huge spending of the TTD on various projects comes as baggage of corruption with the ruling party leaders taking lead. But this time, the issue is surrounding around the faith and practices at the temple. This is potentially strong enough to disturb the faith of the devotees. The charge that god was not given the teerdha prasadam for weeks together is not acceptable. Whoever is responsible for the same has to be punished.

There is a controversy over the government appointing a north Indian IAS officer as the temple executive officer. But, that was something to do with the administration and it did not disturb the faith of the devotees. But Ramana Deekshitulu’s allegations are connected to the faith of the people as his claims are about violation of practices.

The controversy that would hurt the religious sentiments of the people is not good either for the party in power or the people in place at the temple.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.



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