At least 30 names, including that of Nita Ambani, are in the list of probables to the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) executive board, which is likely to be constituted in the next few days by Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu.
Out of the over 1,200 applications received for TTD board membership, the authorities selected 30 names that were to be whetted by the intelligence department. Apart from Nita Ambani from the Reliance Group, others in contention include film director K Raghavendra Rao, actor Shivaji and AP BJP spokesperson G Bhanuprakash Reddy. “Top BJP leaders, including Amit Shah and Union minister Sadanand Gowda, have recommended names from other parts of the country. All of them are being considered,” sources said.
Normally, there is hectic lobbying for the post of TTD chairman. However, this time around, the name of only one aspirant, TDP senior leader Chadalawada Krishnamurthy from Chittoor district, is doing the rounds.
The TTD board normally, has 15 members, including the chairman. Naidu is believed to have increased it to 18 this time, keeping in mind the existence of a new Telugu-speaking state in the form of Telangana. Apart from the 18-member board, the TTD management is likely to comprise a commissioner.
The previous temple management was headed by Kanimuri Bapiraju and its tenure was till August 24 this year. However, the TDP regime ended the tenure a few days before and brought the TTD administration under a specified authority headed by endowments principal secretary J C Sharma.
The delay in the announcement of the new TTD executive board was because of the pressure from BJP as well as the huge number of aspirants from within the TDP, the sources said. “Because of that, Naidu has decided to reduce the tenure of the temple board from the current two years to one year,” they added.