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‘Pink Diamond’ case withdrawn against Vijayasai, Deekshitulu

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The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has been taking controversial decisions ever since Jawahar Reddy became its Executive Officer. First, they decided to put Sri Vari funds into State Government securities. Now, the Board has withdrawn the high profile ‘Pink Diamond’ case from the court. In this case, YCP MP VijayaSai Reddy and TTD former chief priest Ramana Deekshitulu were accused of misleading the devotees.

The BJP promptly objected to the withdrawal of the Pink Diamond case. Its Tirupati leader Bhanu Prakash Reddy accused the Jagan Reddy Government of favouring Vijay Sai Reddy and Ramana Deekshitulu by withdrawing the defamation case. When they were in the Opposition, these two persons raised doubts against Chandrababu Naidu on the disappearance of the Pink Diamond. But now, they were keeping silent without uttering a single word.

Over Rs. 2 Cr had been already spent on the Pink Diamond case by the TTD towards court expenses. The BJP is demanding the YCP leaders and Ramana Deekshitulu to deposit all this money from their personal funds into the Tirumala hundi. They should be made accountable for creating a needless controversy in the God’s abode.

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TTD chairman Subba Reddy, EO get notices

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In yet again, the TTD Board has caught itself in a legal wrangle.

Notices have been sent to TTD Board chairman Y V Subba Reddy and newly appointed executive officer K S Jawahar Reddy over the TTD Board’s proposed move to park the devotees cash donations in government securities, stocks and debentures.

A legal notice was sent to Y V Subba Reddy and Jawahar Reddy by BJP leader Banu Prakash Reddy through his counsel. In his notice, he appealed to the Andhra Pradesh High Court to prevail upon the TTD Board to immediately withdraw its proposed move to convert the Sri Vari cash donations into government securities, stocks or debentures.

Meanwhile, TDP former minister Amarnath Reddy warned the TTD Board of state-wide agitation if the board were to touch even a single rupee donated to Sri Venkateswara Swamy. He stated that the cash donations of the devotees have to be spent only for the purpose it was meant for.

“Both the babai Y S Subbareddy and his abbai (nephew) Jagan Mohan Reddy have been systemically defaming the Tirumala and efforts are being made to destroy the age old traditions and practices followed in Tirumala. This government is hurting the sentiments of crores of Hindus across the country . This will not be tolerated ,” he stated.

Earlier, Y V Subba Reddy who is the maternal uncle of Chief Minsiter Jagan Mohan Reddy, was caught in the wrong foot when the TTD Board had decided to auction 23 immovable properties, including house sites and agriculture land, at different places in Tamil Nadu. The total upset value (bidding value) of the 23 properties has been fixed at a little over Rs 1.54 crore.

The TTD chairman later was put on the backfoot. Amid stiff opposition from the BJP, the TDP, even the Communist parties the TTD retracted from its proposed move. Buckling under pressure from the opposition parties, the Andhra Pradesh government had asked the TTD to suspend its move to sell Sri Vari assets.

The government had directed the TTD to take a fresh decision on auctioning the properties in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Rishikesh in Uttarakhand after consulting devotees and religious heads among others.

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Line clear for flow of TTD funds into Jagan Govt hands

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A fresh controversy erupted in the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams on the issue of putting Srivari funds into the AP Government securities. Till now, the TTD deposits are only in the scheduled banks though it gets a lower interest rate of about 5 per cent. Recently, the TTD finance wing came out with a proposal for putting the TTD funds in Central Government securities as it would fetch nearly 7 per cent interest.

Now, the TTD Board has included the clause to allow deposit of these funds in Central and State Government securities. Critics say that this is part of the conspiracy to allow the Jaganmohan Reddy regime to lay its hands on the Srivari funds. If the State Government does not pay the interest and does not pay back the deposits, the TTD would be able to do nothing in future. After all, the TTD Chairman is at the mercy of the State Government.

Alarmingly, the TTD Board has passed a resolution on August 28 itself to allow its funds to flow into the hands of the AP Government. It was kept a closely guarded secret. Analysts say TTD Chairman SV Subba Reddy is making calculated moves to favour the Jagan Government. In December, lots of TTD deposits would mature in different banks. The stage is being set to transfer all these funds into AP Government securities. This will help CM Jagan to use the funds at his whims and fancies.

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TTD’s Seven Hills turned into Seven Reddys: RRR

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YCP rebel MP Raghu Rama Raju made mocking comments on the conversion allegations under the Jaganmohan Reddy Government in Andhra Pradesh. Conversion here means not the usual religious method but converting everything into a caste stronghold. Now, Rajugaru says that CM Jagan has converted TTD Tirumala shrine into a fortress for his own caste. The Seven Hills has been converted into Seven Reddys. Obviously, Chairman SV Subba Reddy stands at the top followed by the newly appointed Executive Officer Jawahar Reddy. Joint Executive Officer Dharma Reddy is already there.

Besides, many other Reddys are there on the TTD Board. Controversial MLA Chevireddy Bhasker Reddy was an ex officio member. So, the conversion is literally complete. The riches of the TTD were behind this game plan. Anil Kumar Singhal did not agree reportedly for buying AP Government bonds with TTD funds. A truly religious, god-fearing man that Singhal is. He decided to lose the post rather than incur the wrath of God.

Now, RRR says that YCP and Jagan Reddy batch were scared of CBI court hearings. This is why they are doing misinformation campaigns against him. Mr. Raju threatened to file defamation cases against Sakshi media. Three key persons in YCP are sure to go to jail in Jagathi CBI case.

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TTD top most EO post goes to another Reddy, finally

Despite criticism along caste lines, the Jaganmohan Reddy regime is going ahead with its decisions. Recently, Anil Kumar Singhal was transferred out of the Executive Officer post of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD). Now, in his place, senior IAS Officer K.S. Jawahar Reddy was appointed as the new EO. He is presently serving as the Principal Secretary of Medical and Health.

Almost all the top most posts are now filled with Reddys in TTD. Board Chairman is SV Subba Reddy, who is former MP and close relative of Jagan Reddy. Additional EO is AV Dharma Reddy, who is a central defence accounts services officer. Now, Jawahar Reddy became the EO.

Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney has released the new appointment orders of Jawahar Reddy. It is now being said that Jawahar Reddy was being rewarded for rendering good services during the initial stages of the Coronavirus epidemic.

All key Ministries in the Jagan Reddy Cabinet were given to Reddys only. Finance Minister is Buggana Rajendranath Reddy, Panchayat Raj and Mines Minister is Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy and so on.

Three Reddys – SV Subba Reddy, Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy and Vijay Sai Reddy – were given total control of the three regions in the States. Whereas, the five Deputy Chief Ministers belonging to backward and weaker sections do figure much in the key decision making.

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New building for SVBC channel to cost over Rs 20 crore

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Caught in the midst of controversy over not telecasting the Ram temple’s ‘bhoomi pujan’ event live from Ayodhya, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), which governs the Lord Venkateswara temple at Tirumala, has decided to modernize Sri Venkateswara Bhakti Channel (SVBC).

On Monday, deputy chief minister K Narayanaswamy and TTD board chairman Y V Subba Reddy inaugurated new building for the SVBC channel at Alipiri. Built at a cost of Rs 20.45 crore, the TTD said the modernization and expansion of the SVBC channel were aimed at spreading the message of ‘Hindu Sanatana Dharma’ across the country. The construction of the new building comes in the wake of sharp criticism from the BJP and the TDP after the TTD had failed to telecast the Ram temple’s ‘bhoomi pujan’ event live from Ayodhya.

Y V Subba Reddy is the maternal uncle of Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy. The Chief Minister is Christian and frequent concerns have been voiced of late about growing proselytization in the state.

The SVBC was established with the express purpose of promoting Hindu thoughts and philosophy, Subba Reddy said on Monday. He stated that the new building for the SVBC channel will house two studios and teleport facility with adequate infrastructure to have four channels, including Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Hindi to telecast Tirmuala ‘bhakti’ programmes. Subba Reddy said currently Kannada and Hindi channels are at a pre-launch stage and that the TTD will soon launch HD channel shortly.

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Belligerent Jagan enters Tirumala abode without signing declaration form

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Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, known for his belligerent attitude and defiant nature, has entered the Tirumala shrine without signing the mandatory declaration form as demanded by the Opposition parties, mainly the BJP and TDP.

Despite protests, the Chief Minister entered the abode of Lord Venkateswara Swamy on Wednesday to present ‘Pattu Vastrams’ on the behalf of the state government. Jagan was seen wearing traditional silk ‘pancha’ and green colour ‘kanduva’ with the namam (insignia) applied to his forehead. After presenting the ‘Pattu Vastrams’ to Lord Venkateswara Swamy, he headed to Vakulamata for ‘darshan’. Later, he will take part in ‘Garuda Seva’.

The Chief Minister offered a set of new silk cloths on the occasion of the ongoing nine day Brahmotsavam festival, that began on September 19. He carried the cloths kept on a silver plate on his head and handed it over to the priests and officials of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams. He offered prayers to the presiding deity of Lord Venkateswara.

Opposition parties have demanded that the Chief Minister should respect the age-old practice of non-Hindus signing the declaration form before entering the Tirumala shrine. As per the TTD general rules, the Rule No 136 clearly states that only Hindus are allowed for darshan. Non-Hindus who wish to have darshan of Lord Venkateswara Swamy have to disclose their faith and give a declaration form to the TTD. As per conventions, since the Chief Minister is a converted Christian, he is bound by the TTD regulations to sign the declaration form. However, the Chief Minister was in no mood to respect the age-old Hindu traditions and practices.

Earlier in the day, several BJP and TDP leaders were kept under house arrest as a preemptive measure to thwart any trouble at Tirumala. The BJP and TDP leaders demanded that Jagan Mohan Reddy sign a declaration form. They demanded that the Chief Minister be allowed to enter the Tirumala shrine only after submitting the declaration form. A posse of police personnel was deployed outside the residence of former TDP MLA Sugunamma. Angry TDP leaders protested the police action to keep Sugunamma under house arrest. Further, the TDP leaders demanded that the government follow the age-old tradition laid down during the British regime to declare one’s faith before entering the Tirumala shrine. They wondered why Jagan visits Tirumala shrine by himself, while his entire family accompanies him when he visits Jerusalem.

TTD chairman YV Subba Reddy, who is also Jagan Mohan Reddy’s uncle, stirred a Hornet’s nest by stating that there is no need for the chief minister to sign a declaration to prove his faith in Lord Venkateswara.

While BJP and TDP leaders in Andhra Pradesh have been kept under house arrest as a preemptive measure to thwart any trouble ahead of the CM’s visit to Tirumala, tension prevailed at Jagan Mohan Reddy’s Hyderabad residence ‘Lotus Pond’ as Bajrang Dal activists staged a protest outside his residence.

They raised slogans outside the CM’s residence demanding that the Andhra Pradesh government protect temples in AP. The police arrested several Bajrang Dal activists after they entered into heated arguments with the police. The activists raised slogans minister Kodali Nani. The police beefed up security at the Lotus Pond.

In New Delhi, Jagan had requested Jal Shakti minister Shekhawat to clear Rs 4,000 crore worth pending dues to the state government as part of the Polavaram project. It is learnt that Shekhawat has promised cooperation to Jagan to complete the Polavaram project by 2021.

Jagan also met Shekawat prior to meeting Home Minister Amit Shah and discussed the irrigation projects in the state. Rajya Sabha member Vijay Sai Reddy and others accompanied Jagan when he met the Jal Shakti minister.

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No change in TTD ‘declaration’ but Jagan will not sign it?

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YCP controversial Minister Kodali Nani enters the scene when it requires a no-holds-barred attack on Chandrababu Naidu, Nara Lokesh and TDP leaders. Now, he is busy all the time making such un-Hindu statements that are unheard of till now in the country’s political circles. The controversy surrounding ‘declaration’ at TTD is turning much heat on the YSRCP both in Andhra Pradesh and at the national level. Even TTD Chairman YV Subba Reddy has withdrawn his comment saying that he has never talked about cancelling the ‘declaration’ rule for non-Hindus.

But, Kodali Nani is bringing back the row into the spotlight saying that the rule may be there but a devotee should not be asked to sign the declaration considering his personal feelings. Indirectly referring to CM Jagan Reddy’s forthcoming visit, Nani asked whether it will not hurt the personal sentiments of a devotee when he is asked to sign a declaration before entry into the temple. The Minister’s continuing statements indicated the YSRCP’s preparedness to face any political consequences arising out of such sensitive religious issues.

As the whole Hindu society began demanding CM Jagan to sign the declaration, YV Subba Reddy took a low profile in the face of allegations of un-Hindu activities against him. Hence, Kodali Nani took charge of sending YSRCP’s message strongly. He once again asked where is the need for asking a devotee, who comes wearing ‘Sri Vari Namam’ on forehead, to sign the declaration. It is such anti-devotee activities that are driving away most of the Hindus from their religion.

Saying so, the YSRCP Minister has given enough indications that there is no question of changing the rule at TTD. But, if the Chief Minister comes to Tirumala, he will not be asked to sign the declaration.

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TTD laddus to discontinue plastic bags for laddus sale

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The TTD is taking a big step as part of eco-friendly initiatives these days. Very soon, Srivari laddus will be packed only in jute bags alone but not plastic any more. A decision to this effect was taken by the TTD already. The advantage with jute bags is that it is ecologically biodegradable and a natural project. Moreover, unlike plastic bags, the jute bags will not absorb ghee being used in the TTD laddus. Considering all these manifold benefits, the TTD has unanimously taken this decision.

The rates of the jute bags have also been finalised. A jut bag carrying 10 laddus will be Rs. 30 and 15 laddus about Rs. 35 and 25 laddus about Rs. 55. Small bag carrying 5 laddus will cost Rs. 25.

As the jute bags will not absorb ghee, the laddus will also remain fresh for a long time. The devotees are also feeling comfortable with the jute bags as they are easier to carry. Compared to the plastic bags, the rates of jute bags are a little on the higher side. But still the general public are preferring them considering their natural benefits. Pilgrims come from long distances from across the country and the world. If jute bags are used, they can carry the laddus back home without their quality being affected for a longer time.

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TTD takes crucial decision on gold deposits

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The crucial meeting of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam Board on Friday chaired by its chairman Y V Subba Reddy took another controversial decision.

The Board has decided to make long-term deposits of gold in nationalised banks. This is a departure from long tradition of making short-term deposits stretching between one to two years, going by the constant fluctuations in interest rates.

The TTD, which manages the affairs of the famous Sri Venkateswara Temple, has pure gold reserves of over 9,000 kg which is deposited in various nationalized banks under gold deposit schemes. The temple has over Rs 12,000 crore in fixed deposits in various banks.

The TTD also will take up with the RBI the issue of exchange of old currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 worth nearly Rs 51 crore more than three-and-a-half years after the Centre had demonetised them.

TTD trust board chairperson YV Subba Reddy could meet Union finance minister Nirmala Sitaraman in New Delhi to put forth the request of monetising the old currency notes offered by the devotees.

In another significant decision, the TTD Board also decided to bear the treatment cost of all the employees who tested positive for Covid-19.

As many as 743 staff of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) including including some priests of the Lord Venkateswara shrine at Tirumala have tested positive for COVID-19 and three have succumbed to the virus since June 11.

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Ramana Deekshitulu takes to Twitter for CM Jagan help

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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.

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Another TTD priest succumbs to Covid-19, Subba Reddy silent on suspension of darshans

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After the former chief priest of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), Covid-19 has claimed the life of another priest.

45-year-old N V Srinivasacharylu succumbed to coronavirus at Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences (SVIMS) on Thursday after he was admitted to the hospital four days back.

Srinivasacharylu was recently deputed to Tirumala. Earlier, he was performing rituals at Sri Govindarajaswamy Temple in Tirupati. Srinivasacharylu is the second priest to have died to Covid-19.

Earlier, 75-year-old Srinivasa Murthy Deekshitulu died while undergoing treatment for Covid-19 at SVIMS.

Veeraswamy, TTD employee, also on July 25 while undergoing treatment at SVIMS hospital. The family members of the deceased TTD employee alleged lack of proper treatment at the hospital.

At least 15 archakas working at Tirumala temple tested positive for COVID-19 and were shifted to Tirupati where they were admitted to various hospitals.

TTD Pedda Jeeyar Swamy Sri Satagopa Ramanuja Pedda Jeeyangar had recently tested positive for Covid-19 and was shifted to Apollo Hospital in Chennai.

Honorary chief priest and agama advisor Ramana Dikshitulu had earlier appealed to the TTD to close the shrine to devotees for a few weeks to protect the priests.

However, TTD Trust Board chairman Y V Subba Reddy on July 16 ruled out suspension of darshans while reacting to Deekshitulu’s tweet. While the Andhra Pradesh government had reimposed complete lockdown till August 15 in Tirupati, the TTD is yet to temporarily suspend Sri Vari ‘darshans’. Tirumala was exempted from complete lockdown despite the fact that several TTD employees, priests and devotees contracted the virus.

TTD’s adamant stand in not suspending ‘darshans’ came under sharp criticism, many commented that the TTD Trust Board was more interested in filling its coffers showing little or no concern to the devotees, priests or the TTD employees. TTD Trust Board chairman and EO remained silent on the temporary suspension of ‘darshans’ despite demand from various quarters.

TTD employees Joint Action Committee (JAC) on Saturday dashed off a strong letter to Executive Officer Anil Kumar Singhal demanding insurance to Covid-19 patients and compensation to those who succumbed to the infection.

In the letter, the TTD employees JAC pointed out that at least 250 staffers contracted the virus and all those who were infected should be given insurance protection. Further, the TTD employees JAC demanded Rs 10 lakh compensation to all the employees who succumbed to the infection

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Jagan under fire as TTD fails to telecast Modi Ayodhya puja

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The TTD SVBC channel did not telecast the foundation stone laying ceremony at Ayodhya Ram Temple yesterday. None other than Prime Minister Modi laid the foundation for the Temple. This event was telecast by over 250 channels in India and abroad. The non-telecast of the high-profile event of the recent times by TTD channel came in for lots of criticism. Especially the BJP AP leaders began launching a scathing attack. They asserted that this incident has hurt the sentiments of devotees all over the country.

BJP leader Dinakar demanded that the AP Government take action against the TTD officials responsible for the Ayodhya puja. He pointed out that the TTD was mainly aimed at dissemination of the Hindu Dharma but not individuals’ priorities.

The BJP leaders recalled that the SVBC channel telecasted live the AP Chief Minister’s visit to Sarada Peetham in Visakhapatnam. In that case, it was not clear why the TTD ignored such a historic incident like Ram Mandir puja now.

BJP leader Vishnuvardhan Reddy demanded the removal of SVBC Channel CEO Venkata Nagesh immediately for this gross negligence. This mistake was deliberately made. The CM, Endowments Minister and TTD chairman SV Subba Reddy should urgently give their response on this violation. It was unfortunate that the basic objective of the TTD to strive for the Hindu ideals was subverted in the present instance.

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TTD employee succumbs to Covid-19, Subba Reddy silent on suspension of ‘darshans’

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Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) employee succumbed to Covid-19 on Friday.

The TTD employee, Veeraswamy, was admitted to Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences (SVIMS) hospital in Tirupati a week ago.

He succumbed on Friday while battling with the deadly infection. The family members of the deceased TTD employee alleged that the SVIMS had failed to give proper treatment to Veeraswamy. A day before Veeraswamy succumbed to Covid-19, he sent text messages to his son about lack of facilities and doctors at the SVIMS hospital.

Recently, former TTD chief priest Srinivasa Murthy Deekshitulu had died due to Covid-19 while taking treatment at SVIMS.

Several TTD employees and archakas (assistant priests) were tested positive for Covid-19. More than 150 TTD employees were tested positive for the virus after temple darshans were re-opened after the coronavirus imposed lockdown was lifted. At least 15 archakas working at Tirumala temple tested positive for COVID-19 and were shifted to Tirupati where they were admitted to various hospitals. Honorary chief priest and agama advisor Ramana Dikshitulu had appealed to the TTD to close the shrine to devotees for a few weeks to protect the priests. TTD Pedda Jeeyar Swamy Sri Satagopa Ramanuja Pedda Jeeyangar had recently tested positive for Covid-19 and was shifted to Apollo Hospital in Chennai.

In a tweet, Deekshitulu had stated that at least 15 archakas (assistant priests) contracted the deadly Covid-19 infection. “Out of the 50 priests in Sri Vari temple, 15 archakas were tested positive for the corona virus. Additionally, test results of 25 archakas are awaited. The TTD should temporarily suspend darshans. Despite the archakas contracting the virus, the TTD has not stopped allowing darshans. One can expect a major disaster in Tirumala if the Chief Minister fails to respond to the current situation in Tirumala,” he had tweeted.

The TTD Staff and Workers United Front had also written to the TTD Executive Officer requesting that darshan at the temple be temporarily suspended. Apart from archakas, at least 140 TTD employees are known to have tested positive for Covid-19.

However, TTD Trust Board chairman Y V Subba Reddy on July 16 ruled out suspension of darshans while reacting to Deekshitulu’s tweet. While the Andhra Pradesh government had reimposed complete lockdown till August 15 in Tirupati, the TTD is yet to temporarily suspend Sri Vari ‘darshans’. Tirumala was exempted from complete lockdown despite the fact that several TTD employees, priests and devotees contracted the virus.

The TTD’s adamant stand in not suspending ‘darshans’ came under sharp criticism, many commented that the TTD Trust Board was more interested in filling its coffers showing little or no concern to the devotees, priests or the TTD employees. TTD Trust Board chairman remains silent on the temporary suspension of ‘darshans’ despite demand from various quarters.

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Complete lockdown in Tirupati, questions raised over TTD

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Municipal authorities have intensified their efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19 infections in the temple town of Tirupati with alarming rise in positive cases.

On Tuesday, the municipal staff have started santitising the hotspots in Tirupati as complete lockdown was reimposed in the temple town from Monday till August 5 to check its spread.

The district administration on Monday reimposed complete lockdown to contain the spread of the virus which will be enforced from 6 am to 11 pm till August 5. People will be allowed to buy essentials such as vegetables and groceries between 6 am and 11 pm daily although commercial establishments would remain closed during the lockdown period. Tirupati has seen a surge in infection rates after the complete lockdown was lifted. Currently, Tirupati has reported more than 1,700 positive Covi-19 cases of the total 5,400 COVID-19 cases in Chittoor district.

While the complete lockdown has been reimposed in Tirupati, Sri Vari darshans have not been halted by the TTD despite the growing number of archakas (assistant priests) testing positive for Covid-19. The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) had recently held an emergency meeting of officials to discuss the demand for a temporary suspension of darshan for devotees in view of increasing number of archakas (assistant priests) testing positive for coronavirus. Around 18 archakas were tested positive for Covid-19. Recently, Sri Sri Satagopa Ramanuja Pedda Jeeyangar tested positive for Covid-19. He was shifted to Apollo Hospitals in Chennai for better treatment.

On July 16, temple honorary priest Ramana Deekshitulu took to his Twitter handle to demand that the darshans be temporarily stopped in view of an alarming increase in Covid-19 cases among the priests and devotees alike. In his tweet, Deekshitulu had stated that at least 15 archakas (priests) contracted the deadly Covid-19 infection.

“Out of the 50 priests in Sri Vari temple, 15 archakas were tested positive for the corona virus. Additionally, test results of 25 archakas are awaited. The TTD should temporarily suspend darshans. Despite the archakas contracting the virus, the TTD has not stopped allowing darshans. The current political dispensation is following the anti-Brahmanical policies of Chandrababu Naidu. One can expect a major disaster in Tirumala if the Chief Minister fails to respond to the current situation in Tirumala,” he had tweeted.

Despite such demands, the TTD is yet to decide on temporary suspension of darshans. Questions are being raised over the TTD’s reluctance to temporarily halt ‘darshans’ to contain the spread of the virus among devotees and also archakas. The Opposition parties criticised that the TTD was more worried about filling its coffers and showing little or no concern for the devotees and archakas. They questioned the logic of reimposing the complete lockdown in Tirupati, while allowing darshans to devotees. Such lopsided policy will be counter-productive, they opined.

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TTD crucial meeting to decide suspension of darshans at Tirumala

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The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) will be holding an emergency meeting of officials and priests on Saturday to discuss the demand for a temporary suspension of darshan for devotees in view of increasing number of archakas (assitant priests) testing positive for coronavirus.

It is all likely that the TTD could temporarily suspend darshans as 18 archakas (assitant priests) were tested positive for Covid-19. According to reports, Pedda Jeeyar and Chinna Jeeyar were also tested positve for the infection.

Pedda jeeyar being shifted to Apollo hospitals in chennai with his health condition deteoriating. Worried over the increasing number of priests contracting the virus after the reopening of darshan post-lockdown, the TTD is seriously mulling to temporarily halt Sri Vari darshan to devotees.

On July 16, temple honorary priest Ramana Deekshitulu took to his Twitter handle to demand that the darshans be temporarily stopped in view of an alarming increase in Covid-19 cases among the priests and devotees alike.

In his tweet, Deekshitulu had stated that at least 15 archakas (priests) contracted the deadly Covid-19 infection. “Out of the 50 priests in Sri Vari temple, 15 archakas were tested positive for the corona virus. Additionally, test results of 25 archakas are awaited. The TTD should temporarily suspend darshans. Despite the archakas contracting the virus, the TTD has not stopped allowing darshans. The current political dispensation is following the anti-Brahmanical policies of Chandrababu Naidu. One can expect a major disaster in Tirmuala if the Chief Minister fails to respond to the current situation in Tirumala,” he had tweeted.

The TTD Staff and Workers United Front had also written to the TTD Executive Officer requesting that darshan at the temple be temporarily suspended. Apart from archakas, at least 140 TTD employees are known to have tested positive for Covid-19.

However, TTD Trust Board chairman Y V Subba Reddy in July 16 ruled out suspension of darshans while reacting to Deekshitulu’s tweet. Further, Subba Reddy claimed that 70 of the infected had been discharged and the rest were undergoing treatment. Less than 12,000 devotees will be allowed to enter the temple daily, he said.

On July 4, Subba Reddy claimed that not even a single devotee tested positive for COVID-19 since resumption of services at the Venkateswara temple in Tirumala on June 8. He had claimed that only 17 employees of the devasthanams tested positive.

Reacting sharply to Ramana Dikshitulu, Subba Reddy advised the honorary chief priest to put forth any issue before the TTD Trust Board and desist from making public statements. Further, Subba Reddy stated that he had directed the TTD officials to discuss the issues being brought to the fore by Ramana Dikshitulu.

“Ramana Dikshitulu was appointed as honorary chief priest by Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy. We have taken all necessary measures to protect the priests. The TTD Trust Board is also willing to temporarily suspend darshans in the interests of archakas,” Subba Reddy said.

Meanwhile, TTD Executive Officer Anil Kumar Singhal said, “None of the devotees have any health issues. We called 700 devotees between June 18 to 24 and called 1,943 devotees between July 1 to 7. All of them replied that they are healthy,” However, according to some reports, hundreds of TTD staff and devotees tested positive for the virus ever since Tirumala temple reopened on June 11 which remained shut for nearly 85 days due to the lockdown.

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15 Tirumala archakas tested positive for Covid-19: Ramana Dikshitulu

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In an alarming revelation, honorary chief priest of Tirumala temple A V Ramana Dikshitulu stated that at least 15 archakas (priests) contracted the deadly Covid-19 infection.

Taking to his Twitter handle, Ramana Dikshitulu said, “Of the 50 priests in Sri Vari temple, 15 archakas were tested positive for the corona virus. Additionally, test results of 25 archakas are awaited. The TTD should temporarily suspend darshans. Despite the archakas contracting the virus, the TTD has not stopped allowing darshans. The current political dispensation is following the anti-Brahmanical policies of Chandrababu Naidu. One can expect a major disaster in Tirmuala if the Chief Minister fails to respond to the current situation in Tirumala. CBN has illegally unconstitutionally retired 20+ hereditary archakas. Hon high court ordered TTD to take us back. Jagan promised to take us back. But TTD EO and AEO still obey CBN and refuse to implement court orders and Jagan’s instructions. We still wait.

The TTD Staff and Workers United Front have written to the TTD Executive Officer requesting that darshan at the temple be temporarily suspended.

Dikshitulu’s statement goes against the claims of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) Trust Board chairman Y V Subba Reddy. On July 4, Subba Reddy claimed that not even a single devotee tested positive for COVID-19 since resumption of services at the Venkateswara temple in Tirumala on June 8. He had claimed that only 17 employees of the devasthanams tested positive.

Reacting sharply to Ramana Dikshitulu, Subba Reddy advised the honorary chief priest to put forth any issue before the TTD Trust Board and desist from making public statements. Further, Subba Reddy stated that he had directed the TTD officials to discuss the issues being brought to the fore by Ramana Dikshitulu. “Ramana Dikshitulu was appointed as honorary chief priest by Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy. We have taken all necessary measures to protect the priests. The TTD Trust Board is also willing to temporarily suspend darshans in the interests of archakas,” Subba Reddy said.

Meanwhile, TTD Executive Officer Anil Kumar Singhal said, “None of the devotees have any health issues. We called 700 devotees between June 18 to 24 and called 1,943 devotees between July 1 to 7. All of them replied that they are healthy,”

However, according to some reports, hundreds of TTD staff and devotees tested positive for the virus ever since Tirumala temple reopened on June 11 which remained shut for nearly 85 days due to the lockdown.

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.

Day-1 at Tirumala shrine sees coffers fill up with Rs 2.5m in offerings

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The world’s richest Hindu shrine managed by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) saw offerings to the tune of Rs 25.7 lakh pour in on Monday, when its doors were opened for the devotees, about 80 days after they were shut in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The first day saw around 6,000 devotees, comprising TTD employees and their family members, lining up for a darshan of the presiding deity. TTD has earmarked the first three days for employees and their families, in a kind of test run before the general public are allowed inside the premises from June 11.

A temple official, on condition of anonymity, said that the cash accruals through hundi offerings made by the devotees, comprising TTD employees and their families, were counted on Tuesday and found to total a little over Rs 25 lakh.

With the temple getting closed on account of the nationwide lockdown, the subsequent lack of pilgrim footfall and donations had resulted in a cash crunch at the TTD. Prior to the lockdown, the temple, located in Andhra Pradesh, used to attract around 60,000 pilgrims on an average per day.

The TTD has decided to limit the entry to 6,000 devotees per day in order to ensure compliance with the Covid-19 protocols of physical distancing.

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TTD case against hero Surya father for defamatory comments

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The Andhra Pradesh Government is not sparing even persons from outside the state in respect of its prestige issues. Now, a case is filed against Tamil hero Surya father Siva Kumar for allegedly making some derogatory comments.

Recently, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams has been figuring frequently in controversies. Along with Siva Kumar, seven others were involved in the case. The complaint was made by a Tamil Nadu person.

The complainant said that Sivakumar and others were launching negative propaganda against the TTD. They were accused of spreading rumours that Tirupati and Tirumala became home for anti-social activities. The complainant said that the accused persons were telling people not to go to Tirumala because of threats from anti-social elements.

The TTD took the issue seriously and the police have booked the case. Already, the TTD is troubled with the Coronavirus impact and also cautious about preventive measures during reopening of the Seven Hills temple for devotees. At this juncture, defamatory comments are being taken seriously. It is not yet known on what grounds the complaint was lodged against the Surya father.

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.

Srivari darsan will start at Tirumala from June 11: TTD

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The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams temple at Tirumala will reopen for darshanams from June 11. TTD Chairman SV Subba Reddy has announced this today. The decision is taken at a high level meeting. All preventive measures against Coronavirus will be taken up with more emphasis in view of the arrival of large crowds of devotees.

Subba Reddy said that children below 10 years and those above 65 years age would not be allowed darsanam. These categories of people were found to be vulnerable to the virus infections. The online booking of tickets will be opened. Also, manual booking will be provided at the Alipiri entrance gate in Tirupati.

All devotees must necessarily pass through the thermal scanning at the Alipiri Gate. Anybody found reporting temperatures above the limit would not be allowed. At the same time, social distancing would be strictly enforced during the stay of pilgrims at the temple. Only one hour darsan would be given for VIPs. Srivari Mettu route would remain closed for some more time till further orders. There will be no entrance for devotees into the Pushkarini.

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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