U-Turn: TTD halts auction of Srivari assets, Subba Reddy cries falsehood

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In a complete U-turn, a crucial meeting of the TTD trust board headed by chairman Y V Subba Reddy, on Thursday has decided to halt the controversial auction of Srivari assets in Tamil Nadu.

A decision to this effect was taken at the TTD trust board meeting on Thursday which was attended by TTD EO Anil Kumar Singhal, board members Karunakar Reddy and Chevi Reddy Bhaskar Reddy among others. Surprisingly, the TTD trashed the reports on auction of TTD assets as baseless and falsehood.

At the TTD meeting, board members said decided to initiate action against “those spreading falsehood” and ordered an inquiry into the incident.

If auction of TTD assets was baseless and false, YV Subba Reddy should explain why Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy issued a GO halting the auction of the TTD assets in Tamil Nadu? That begs one to ask ‘who is spreading falsehood?’

Y V Subba Reddy, who is maternal uncle of Jagan Mohan Reddy, should explain if the GO (No888) issued by the Andhra Pradesh government halting the auction of TTD assets was falsehood?

It may be noted that the Andhra Pradesh government had asked the TTD to stop any move to auction the temple assets in Tamil Nadu or in other parts of the country. Additionally, the Jagan government had asked TTD to consult Hindu religious leaders and Hindu devotees in matters related to Tirumala. The state government also directed the TTD to review its decision taking into consideration the sentiments of crores of Hindu devotees.

“Keeping in view the sentiments of devotees, the government hereby direct TTD to reexamine the issue in consultation with different stakeholders like religious elders, opinion makers, section of devotees etc. to ascertain whether these properties can be used by TTD for construction of temples, dharma pracharam and other religious activities,” the GO noted.

Is this falsehood?

Further, Subba Reddy should explain if it is falsehood that the TTD did not hold a meeting recently deciding to auction 50 immovable properties in AP and Tamil Nadu saying they were “unviable, not useful and prone to encroachment”.

Is it falsehood that the TTD did not hold a meeting last Saturday where the board had set up two committees to sell what it calls ”unviable and not maintainable” properties in Tamil Nadu through public auction.

What warranted Subba Reddy to give an explanation last Sunday?

Read in his own words…
“The practice of selling immovable and non-maintainable properties has been in vogue since 1974. Around 129 such properties were disposed of between 1974 and 2014. 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 five cents. It is difficult to monitor and maintain. This board only continued the process. We have only set up committees to draw a roadmap on which assets to be auctioned, the upset price and other issues. The assets are mostly in Vellore, Kanchipuram, Tirutani and other far -off locations in Tamil Nadu. The agricultural lands in these areas do not exceed more than one acre or two acres, while house sites are in the range of 1 cent, 2 cent, 3 cents or maximum 5 cents. It is difficult to protect these properties. There is a possibility of encroachment.”

Meanwhile, a petition was also filed in the AP High Court on Tuesday directing the court to halt the auction of 50 TTD assets in Tamil Nadu. TTD, which manages the affairs of Sri Venkateswara temple, has decided to auction 50 properties situated in various parts of Tamil Nadu, mainly in Kanchipuram, Vellore and Tirutani. On Tuesday, the petitioner Amarnath through his counsel appealed to the High Court to set up a judicial committee to provide constitutional protection to safeguard temple properties. Further, the petitioner appealed to the court to notify the movable and immovable assets of TTD. The petitioner contended that auction of TTD assets will denude the temples of their properties and any act that involves loss of properties of the temples for the purposes other than those intended for the benefit or necessity of the temples will hurt the sentiments of the Hindu devotees. The petitioner has impleaded Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney, endowments special secretary and TTD executive officer in the case. The petitioner argued that these assets were gifted to the TTD by devotees of Lord Balaji and the government has no right to sell them under the pretext of the properties being untenable and non-remunerative.

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