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Indian politician Chiranjeevi questions Tirupati temple jewellery mortgage issue
Says this is not the first time temple jewellery has been mortgaged
By: Diamond World News Service
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Aug 27 2009 7:01PM
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Reference: 4148  

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Chiranjeevi, former Indian actor and now president of India’s political party - Praja Rajyam Party (PRP), has raised question over the mortgaging of fine jewellery from a Tirupati temple. Speaking at the Andhra Pradesh assembly, Chiranjeevi, mentioned that he can prove of similar instances occurring at temples under Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam. Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam manages 12 temples, including the Venkateshwara temple, considered as the world’s richest.

The Tirupati police had arrested the head priest of the Devasthanam-run Sri Kodandarama Swamy temple on charges of theft, cheating and criminal breach of trust, on 22 August, reports say. Venkatramana Deekshithulu had mortgaged gold ornaments and luxury jewellery of the temple with a private money lender for Rs.1 million for personal reasons.

The high court has asked the Devasthanam to submit a detailed report of the gold and other jewellery at all its temples, within two months. Reports say that as per a petition, over Rs.500 billion worth of jewellery is being misappropriated without accountability.

Chiranjeevi also represents Tirupati constituency in the assembly and has demanded the matter be discussed. Similar demands were made by the opposition party Telugu Desam (TDP) and others, due to which speaker N. Kiran Kumar Reddy stated that a debate on the same will be taken up by the house tomorrow, reports say.

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