Tirupati, June 22 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s uncle Y.V. Subba Reddy was on Saturday sworn-in as Chairman of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), which administers the Lord Venkateshwara temple at Tirumala here.
Subba Reddy, a senior leader of the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), is the 50th Chairman of TTD Trust Board, which manages affairs of the richest Hindu temple.
TTD Executive Officer Anil Kumar Singhal administered the oath to Subba Reddy in the sanctum sanctorum of the famous hill shrine.
Subba Reddy said Jagan Mohan Reddy appointed him to the coveted post with to safeguard the interests of millions of pilgrims visiting Tirumala. “Our priority is providing hassle-free darshan to devotees and ensure permanent measures that Tirumala is free from water scarcity,” he said.
Subba Reddy, who is Jagan Reddy’s maternal uncle, was earlier a Lok Sabha member from Ongole. This time he did not contest the elections.
He offered ‘Tulabharam’, a traditional practice of offering jaggery or rice or any other grains equivalent to the weight of the pilgrim on fulfillment of a wish.
Considered as one of the key leaders in the party, he succeeded P. Sudhakar Yadav, who resigned on Thursday. Earlier 11 members of the Trust Board had also quit following defeat of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in recent Assembly elections.
The party in power in the state appoints its leaders to the temple body.
The YSRCP government has named V. Ramachandra Reddy and Prasad Babu as the Trust Board members. They also took oath on Saturday.
The temple, with an annual income of Rs 3,000 crore, attracts 50,000 to 70,000 pilgrims every day. The number goes up to one lakh on festivals and other special occasions.