Feb 7, 2009

India - Liquor bottles, condoms in temple trust guest house spark row

Hyderabad, Feb 6 (IANS) A controversy erupted Friday involving Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), which manages the affairs of famous Tirumala temple, after empty liquor bottles and used condoms were found in the temple trust's guest house here.
The activists of the opposition parties took to the streets demanding immediate sacking of D.K. Adikeshavulu Naidu, the TTD chairman.
They gathered outside the TTD guest house at Himayatnagar here, raising slogans against the ruling Congress party and the TTD chief. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders alleged that the government had hurt the sentiments of Hindus by allowing immoral activities in a sacred place.
Camerapersons of several news channels rushed to the guest house after somebody alerted them about the empty liquor bottles and used condoms on the premises. These were allegedly recovered from a room, in which two activists of the Congress party were staying on a recommendation from Adikeshavulu Naidu. Naidu is also member of parliament from Chittoor.
Angry activists of the opposition parties staged a sit-in and alleged that prostitutes were brought to the guest house.
'This is a very serious issue. This act has hurt the sentiments of Hindus,' said BJP legislator G. Kishan Reddy.
Telugu Desam Party president and Leader of Opposition N. Chandrababu Naidu demanded stern action against those involved and immediate sacking of the TTD chief.
Interestingly, the incident came to light only a couple of days after Baba Ramdev demanded removal of Adikeshavulu Naidu as the TTD chairman as he was a liquor trader.
'Persons with a clean image and good character should be given the responsibility to manage the affairs of the sacred temple,' Ramdev said during a yoga camp here.
Adikesavulu Naidu was suspended from the TDP last year after he defied the party whip and voted in favour of Congress-led UPA government at the centre during a trust vote in parliament. He later joined the Congress party, which rewarded him with the post of the TTD chairman.
The TTD manages the affairs of Lord Venkateshwara temple, the famous and richest temple in India. Over 60,000 devotees daily visit the temple, located atop Tirumala Hills.

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