Hyderabad: Chilkur Balaji Temple priest CS Rangarajan, who is also the Chairman of Telangana Temples Protection Committee, condemned the Andhra Pradesh government's decision to remove Ramana Deekshitulu from the post of the head priest of the Lord Venkateswara Swamy shrine in Tirumala.
"As per the Supreme Court's directions, Priesthood is a basic human right. EO's of the temples can be replaced, but there is no provision for replacing the priests. Traditionally, the priest is appointed at the time of the temple's installation. When Chandrababu was the CM in 1996, he did not obey the SC order, whereas former CM late Dr Rajasekhara Reddy tweaked the 1987 system in our interest. We will always be indebted to that great leader. In 2003, all the devotees prayed to God that the Chandrababu government be ousted and Dr YSR becomes the Chief Minister," he said.
Former AP Chief Secretary IYR Krishna Rao responded on TTD's latest decision. He said, "The new rule will make life even more difficult for the priests of small temples in the state. Priests cannot be changed without the consent of a Dharmika Parishad, which the state government is yet to establish."