After receiving backlash, the Andhra Pradesh government has suspended the Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam’s decision to auction 50 of its immovable unviable properties. The establishment asked the temple to re-examine its decision.
On Monday evening, the Andhra Pradesh government directed the trust that administers the popular shrine to take a fresh decision on auctioning its properties in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Rishikesh. The government suggested the trust to consult devotees and religious heads before taking the decision.
The decision to stay the auction came after severe backlash by the opposition parties including BJP, Janasena Party, CPI-M, TDP, and Congress. There was a backlash by the devotees too who said that auctioning the properties would hurt the sentiments of those who had donated it in the first place. The government order said,
“Keeping in view the sentiments of devotees, the government hereby directs TTD to re-examine the issue in consultation with different stakeholders like religious elders, opinion makers, a section of devotees, etc.”
The government has also asked TTD whether the properties that were to be auctioned can be used to construct temples, dharma pracharam, or to conduct any other religious activity.
Chairman had announced auction
YV Subba Reddy, the Chairman of the TTD Board that governs the popular shrine of Lord Venkateshwara that is on the famous hill of Tirumala, had said that the properties that are set to be auctioned include housing plots and houses between 1 cent and 5 cents and farming lands between 10 cents and one acre. These are some of the properties that have been donated to the shrine by the devotees several decades ago which have now become non-maintainable and also non-revenue generating. They have become very petty and unviable for the trust, he had said.
49 of those properties are in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and one land in Rishikesh in Uttarakhand. The expected revenue from the auction is close to Rs. 24 crore. The Chairman also added that there has been propaganda against the Board’s move to auction the properties which are driven by the vested interests of the media and certain political parties in Andhra Pradesh. He also mentioned that this is not a new thing for the trust as many regimes in the past have taken steps to auction tiny properties. He also appealed to the devotees of the shrine to not pay to heed the false propaganda peddled by vested interests in order to create confusion and play with the sentiments.
Source: The Indian Express