AP government shunts former minister Gajapati Raju, appoints niece as chairperson of Simhachalam Temple Trust

Visakhapatnam: A political storm has hit Andhra Pradesh after BJP leader Pusapati Sanchaita Gajapati Raju was appointed as Chairperson of Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Devasthanam (Simhachalam) Temple Trust Board and MANSAS Trust Board.

Sanchaita Gajapati Raju replaced her uncle and former Union minister P Ashok Gajapati Raju of the TDP. He has been heading both MANSAS and Simhachalam Trust Boards since the demise of his brother and Sanchaita’s father Anada Gajapati Raju.

Sanchaita took oath as chairperson of Simhachalam Temple Trust Board on Wednesday.

An advocate by profession, Sanchaita has been running an NGO `SANA’. She is the daughter of Uma Gajapati Raju, estranged wife of late Ananda Gajapati Raju. She joined BJP in 2018 and campaigned intensively for the saffron party in last year’s polls

The YSR Congress government issued a GO MS NO 74 on March 3, appointing Sanchaita as the chairperson of MANSAS Trust on a rotation basis. Sanchaita’s sudden appointment has come as a surprise to many people in North Andhra Pradesh.

Sanchaita in a Twitter message thanked Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy for appointing her as the chairperson of both Simhachalam and MANSAS trust boards.

Expressing displeasure over the appointment of Sanchaita, BJP’s MLC PVN Madhav said her appointment is against the rules. “Though Sanchaita is a BJP leader, we are opposing YSRC government’s decision to sideline Ashok Gajapati Raju”, he said.

The YSRC government constituted the Simhachalam Trust Board with Raju as chairman on February 20. However, the swearing-in ceremony scheduled on February 29 was cancelled at the last minute. In a fresh GO, YSRC government reconstituted Simhachalam Trust Board with Sanchaita as Chairperson.

“The YSR Congress Party leaders are trying to grab the land of MANSAS trust, which was set up with an endowed property of over 13,000 acres, to provide financial support to the educational institutions,” said TDP leaders Kala Venkata Rao and Kaluva Srinivasulu.

P Ashok Gajapati Raju, who is in Delhi, didn’t turn up for the oath ceremony of Sanchaita on Wednesday.

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