TTD EO Row Heats Up, Pawan Questions Naidua��s Decision

Mr. Anil Kumar SInghala��s appointment criticised by the opposition and religious figures alike.

Hyderabad: Controversy over the appointment of a north Indian IAS officer as Executive Officer of Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanams (TTD) has snowballed further with the leader of Jana Sena and film star Pawan Kalyan questioned the decision. Mr Anil Kumar Singhal, a IAS officer from Himachal Pradesh has taken charge as EO on Saturday last.

a�?Where is the need to appoint a north Indian man when scores of officers from our state are available? Are officers from South India appointed at north Indian shrines? I am not opposing Mr Singhal taking charge. But the state government shall explain to the people the reasons. In Varanasi, Amarnath or Mathura, no South Indian is appointed as executive officer, in that case, why should we?a�? Mr Pawan Kalyan demanded.

His arrows have further aggravated the row. Already some Hindu seers including Swaroopanandendra Saraswati of Sarada Peetham in Visakhapatnam have lambasted the Naidu government over the appointment. a�?Ita��s a tradition to appoint Telugu officer since he alone can correctly understand the Vykhanasa Agama sastra customs on which Tirumala runs. To avoid friction between the Agama Sastra traditions which are being constantly interpreted and implemented, a Telugu man is necessary at the helm. The institutions of antiquity should not be altered for temporal reasonsa�? felt Swami Swaroopanandendra.

The opposition parties have also cried foul over the decision. This is utter disregard for our traditions and the TDP government is out to destroy the sanctity of the greatest shrines of the worlda�� castigated the YSRC. Congress Party also raised objections to the appointment.

Except once in 1970s when a non-Telugu man Mr Subrahmanyam who hailed from Tamil Nadu was appointed as EO, all other EOs- from Anna Rao to Sambasiva Rao, had been Telugu people.

BJP has not questioned the decision since it is part of the government. According to informed sources in the government, Chief Minister had to accept a strong recommendation from a high profile Union cabinet minister and appointed Mr Singhal.

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