Rayapati writes to AP CM seeking TTD chairman post


Narasaraopet MP Rayapati Sambasiva Rao, dashed off a letter to Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, offering to quit the Parliament if that was coming in the way of his appointment as the next chairman of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD). The term of the present board headed by Chadalavada Krishna Murthy expired on April 30, giving a chance to the government to constitute the Board afresh.

Rayapati, who had been unsuccessfully trying for the TTD chairman post for more than two decades, had finally decided to try his luck this time. He lobbied hard during the Congress regime in the past, particularly between 2004 and 2014 but could not make it. Having switched over to the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) during the 2014 elections and had won from Narasaraopet Lok Sabha Constituency, Rayapati, the strong man of Guntur politics, is mounting pressure on the Chief Minister for the prime slot. He is locked in a tough competition with Rajamahendravaram MP M Murali Mohan this time. Murali Mohan is a known associate of Chandrababu Naidu and is a leading investor in the real estate sector, besides a senior actor and producer in the Tollywood. It is to be seen how Rayapati would make it to the Board at least now as, according to him, this is the last chance for him to try.

The State government had appointed senior IAS officer Anil Kumar Singhal as the executive officer of the TTD in the place of D Sambasiva Rao. Singhal is the first non-Telugu bureaucrat to be made the TTD chief. Having changed the bureaucratic placement in the TTD, the task before the Chief Minister is now to constitute the TTD Board. Sources said that Chandrababu Naidu is in favour of continuing the membership of Tollywood director K Raghavendra Rao and Infosys founder Sudha for another term. He is said to be thinking of filling the Board this time with the leaders from the Rayalaseema region as that would help the TDP in the next elections.

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