Amaravati, Apr 22 (PTI) TDP MLA Vangalapudi Anita, whose appointment as a board member of TTD had evoked sharp reactions from opposition parties, tonight wrote to Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, requesting that it be revoked, as a controversy erupted over her religion.
“I do not want the unsavoury controversy to cause any embarrassment to you and the government. Therefore, I request you to withdraw my appointment as member of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Board,” the MLA wrote and claimed she was a Hindu.
She said she was deeply pained to learn that some groups with vested interests had created an unsavoury controversy about her appointment.
“I would like to state that I am a Hindu and belong to the Scheduled Caste. I am a devotee of Lord Venkateswara and have visited the shrine in Tirumala several times and offered prayers,” Anita said.
The controversy erupted after a video surfaced where she purportedly said she was a Christian, prompting a BJP-linked outfit to call it an act of “sacrilege” and seek her ouster.
Earlier in the day opposition parties, including Congress and BJP, stepped up pressure on the state government over alleged controversial appointments to TTD and demanded an apology and explanation from the Chief Minister.
The parties wanted Naidu to respect the sentiments of Hindus and scrap the controversial appointments, including that of the TTD Chairman and of the MLA.
However, neither the government nor Telugu Desam Party reacted formally on the issue.
The controversy is over the appointments of Board Chairman Putta Sudhakara Yadav and Vangalapudi Anita, who is also an MLA from Payakaraopet.
While Yadav claims to be a devout Hindu despite Hindu groups alleging he participated in Christian religious events, Anita has admitted that her family is “basically Christian.” Earlier, speaking to a television channel, Anita had appealed to opposition parties not to create an issue over her appointment.
“Yes,my family is basically Christian but I am a devotee of Lord Venkateswara. I worship the Lord,” she claimed.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.