Ten bottles of liquor and several used condoms were found in the guesthouse of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), which runs the famous Lord Venkateshwara shrine on Friday. This sent a wave of shock among angry devotees of Lord Venkateshwara.
Police sources said the bottles and condoms were found in Room 7 and Room 8 of Balaji Nilayam, the TTD guesthouse in Hyderabad. The rooms were booked in the names of T.G. Suresh and C.P. Sridhar and their address was given as “Care of Chairman of TTD”. TTD chairman Adikeshavulu Naidu had recommended in writing that they be provided accommodation at the guesthouse. The guesthouse is mostly used for accommodating TTD staff during their visits to the state capital on work.
Rooms are also provided to visiting sadhus and saints who may not be comfortable in hotels. As part of TTD code of conduct, smoking, consumption of liquor and other amoral activities are strictly banned in temples and guesthouses run by TTD.
Following a tip-off that that the rooms were being used for banned activities, a local TV channel organised sting operation and filmed the activities. After the news was flashed, hundreds of activists belonging to BJP and Praja Rajyam, a new political party launched a few months ago by film star Chiranjeevi, staged a dharna in front of the guesthouse, and shouted slogans demanding the ouster of Naidu as TTD chairman. They also burnt his effigy. The police have booked a case against the occupants of the room following a complaint lodged by TDP MLA Talasani Srinivas Yadav at Narayanguda police station.
TTD executive officer K. Ramana Chary visited the guesthouse soon after the incident came to light. Only last week, yoga guru Baba Ram Dev had asked the Andhra Pradesh government to cancel the appointment of a liquor baron Adikeshavulu Naidu as chairman of TTD on the grounds that it hurt the sentiments of millions of Hindus.