Visakhapatnam: Telugu Desam politburo member and chairman of MANSAS and Simhachalam Devasthanam P. Ashok Gajapati Raju is slowly gaining control over both the trusts, two months after he was reinstated by the Andhra Pradesh High Court.
On Saturday, the executive officer of Simhachalam, M.V Suryakala, called on Mr. Gajapati Raju at his Vizianagaram palace and explained to him the activities and developments of the temple. She assured him that hereafter she would update him on all the activities of the temple and seek his suggestions. She also explained to him the reasons for the crash of Dwajastambam and erection of a new and temporary pillar.
However, the executive officer of MANSAS, D. Venkateswara Rao, is yet to meet Mr. Raju in spite of several letters seeking to arrange a meeting with him to discuss the trust affairs. Ignoring the letters, Mr. Rao filed a case in One Town police station against Mr. Raju and some of the employees of MANSAS on charges of violating COVID-19 guidelines and attacking him. The case was filed on 22 July.
Earlier, on 17 June, Mr. Gajapati Raju had issued a statement saying that both the executive officers had violated protocol and offended him during his visit to both the places after the High Court had reinstated him on 14 June.
Regarding Simhachalam temple episode, Mr. Raju said the executive officer, Ms. Suryakala, and the commissioner of endowments, Padala Arjuna Rao, did not bother to meet him though it was part of the protocol. The temple priests did not tie the headgear normally tied to important dignitaries, particularly hereditary trustees and chairman, he said.
"Now, after the recent High Court order, things are falling into place. The banks have released the funds, salaries have been paid to all employees, and the executive officer of Simhachalam has called on him," said a close aide of Mr. Gajapati Raju.