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Ramana Deekshithulu To Fast Till CBI Probe Ordered

Brushing aside the Rs 100-crore defamation suit by the TTD board, the former head priest of the Tirumala temple announced a fast-to-death till a CBI probe was ordered into "corruption" in the TTD.
Hyderabad | 20th June 2018
Brushing aside the Rs 100-crore defamation suit filed against him by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam board, former Tirumala temple chief priest A V Ramana Deekshithulu, who superannuated suddenly due to an age-limit rule quoted last month by the TTD board after he accused its officials of corruption and who has been protesting since, said that the people in authority had turned greedy and were indulging in gross irregularities due to a craze for money.

Speaking to mediapersons today, Deekshithulu asked whether advising the TTD authorities to protect the invaluable ornaments of the presiding deity was a mistake, and demanded that the authorities seek a CBI inquiry into the irregularities.

He also announced that he would go on fast-to-death till the government ordered the CBI probe.

The retired head priest termed the defamation case against him as absurd, and described it as a move by TTD to silence voices of those who were vocal about corruption in the body.

Deekshithulu said that history had it that King Krishnadevaraya had presented invaluable ornaments to Lord Balaji and that Kakatiya King Prathaparudrudu gifted 18 lakh mohars to the Lord. One mohar was equivalent to 100 grams of gold, and the 18 lakh mohars were deposited in the temple prakaram, he said. There was an underground route dug to the prakaram from the pakashala where the naivedyam to the Lord was prepared, he claimed. He asked the TTD board why the authorities had closed the potu (the potu or main kitchen is the place where the food offerings for the temple are prepared).

Deekshithulu alleged that the authorities had developed a grudge against him for telling them that their activities with the potu, going on in the name of repairs to the structures constructed 1,000 years ago, would result in the Swamyvari prasadam being defiled. He alleged that the TTD officials had dug inside the potu, and that they were doing so at the behest of the Chief Minister. He quoted the JE saying that the works were being done on the directions of one madam, and demanded that the JE reveal the name of that madam.

Alleging that the TTD authorities had hidden the Thiruvabharana ornaments, Deekshithulu asked the authorities to explain where the ornaments were and under whose supervision, and how many ornaments were missing and how many remained.

It may be mentioned here that a few months ago, the former head priest along with some others had alleged that the TTD authorities were corrupt and that several ornaments belonging to the temple, particularly old jewellery and diamonds donated by King Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagara empire, were missing.

"I raised the issue about the lack of transparency in the functioning of TTD. Moreover, even the rituals that are supposed to be followed while performing the pujas are not being held properly. It is the responsibility of the TTD officials to provide clarification on such issues," he added.
filed in:  Andhra Pradesh, Religion, Temples, Hinduism, A V Ramana Deekshithulu, Tirumala, Corruption, CBI, TTD
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