Chief priest of Lord Venkateshwara temple atop Tirumala AV Ramana Deekshitulu was on Wednesday forced to retire within a day of him making allegations of corruption in the temple administration.
The maiden meeting of the newly constituted trust board of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), which manages the country’s richest temple, in its meeting held on Tirumala unanimously resolved to make all the Archakas (priests) who had crossed 65 years of age retire from the temple services.
“Following this decision, chief priest Ramana Deekshitulu and three other priests Narasimha Deekshitulu, Srinivasa Murthy Deekshitulu and Narayana Deekshitulu, would have to retire from service,” TTD trust board chairman Putta Sudhakar Yadav told media.
In the wake of the retirement of these priests who had been serving the temple for several years, the TTD trust board appointed four other Archakas from the families of Mirasidars (hereditary priests).
On Tuesday, Ramana Deekshitulu spoke to media in Chennai, alleging that the administrators of the temple were siphoning off the temple money and destroying the sanctity of the temple, which attracts lakhs of devotees every day. He demanded an open audit into the donations being received by the temple and expenditure being incurred by the TTD.