The omnibus Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) Board got bigger with the nomination of seven more persons as special invitees. These include B Karunakar Reddy, YSRCP MLA from Tirupati who has served as TTD Chairman before and presidents of the Local Advisory Committees of six cities – Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Bhubaneswar, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
These seven invitees will not have voting rights but will be given protocol on par with other Board members. Rajya Sabha MP and RSS ideologue by virtue of being the LAC Delhi president, makes it to the Board.
But what has raised eyebrows is the nomination of Sekhar AJ, the president of the Chennai LAC. He is the same J Sekhar Reddy (no reason given for why the name is altered now) who was sacked from the TTD Board after a CBI raid at his house in Chennai where over Rs 100 crore in cash and gold was reportedly recovered. He was subsequently arrested by ED in a money laundering case. Sekhar is known to be very close to AIADMK leaders.
Though the cases had no connection with his role at TTD, the Chandrababu Naidu government did not take any chances with the bad publicity his presence on the Board brought.
But in the last three years, no chargesheet has been filed against him and the Madras High court has quashed FIRs in two cases. The Hindu reports that Sekhar wrote to Andhra Pradesh chief minister seeking reinduction into the TTD Board.
“I have been unfairly treated in the hurried removal of my membership of the TTD Board without any verification or enquiry,” The Hindu quotes Sekhar as having written to Jagan.
The Andhra Pradesh government has defended its decision saying including the LAC (which are part of the TTD structure) presidents is part of convention. The Chennai LAC president has been nominated to the Board, it says without delving into the Sekhar case in particular.