After I-T raid, Andhra Pradesh removes Sekhar Reddy from Tirupati temple trust board

Chandrababu Naidu took the action as pressure mounted from opposition for action against Reddy after Income-Tax raid

After I-T raid, Andhra Pradesh removes Sekhar Reddy from Tirupati temple trust board

Days after the Income-Tax Department seized huge cash and gold from J. Sekhar Reddy’s Chennai residence, the government of Andhra Pradesh on Saturday removed him as a member of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD.

Sources said the decision to remove Reddy from the Board that manages the wealthiest temple in the country was taken by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, IANS reported.

On Thursday, the Department of Income Tax Department at Chennai seized Rs 6 crore in newly introduced Rs 2,000 denomination notes  from the house of Shekhar Reddy in T Nagar.

The officials were conducting searches in the case of a group engaged in sand mining, allegedly including Reddy and raids were conducted in eight premises including six residences and two offices.

"During the search, Rs 96.89 crore cash on old high denomination notes and Rs 9.63 crore in new Rs 2,000 currency notes along with gold weighing 127 kgs worth approximately Rs 36.29 crore were found and seized, as unaccounted assets," an official announcement stated.

AP Chief Minister Naidu took the decision to expel Reddy came amidst pressure from opposition for action against him after the raids.

The state government appointed him as one of the members while constituting new trust board.

Earlier, the Left parties and social activists demanded the removal of Sekhar Reddy from the prestigious TTD Trust Board.

The CPI(M) criticised the government for always preferring businessmen and contractors as members of the trust board, The Hindu reported.

“Such persons always use the coveted post for pursuing their business interests and personal gains,” the party stated.

“The Sekhar Reddy episode has once again brought the issue to the fore,” added    CPI(M) district secretary K. Kumar Reddy.

The CPI activists in the state also took out a protest march demanding that Sekhar Reddy be immediate removed from the temple trust board, reports said.