VIJAYAWADA: Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) chief pontiff Ramana Dikshitulu on Tuesday made sensational allegations against the temple administration and the state government and charged them with mishandling the temple affairs.

Stating that there are many financial and other irregularities in the temple administration, Dikshitulu told TOI over phone from Chennai that he has sent copies of a memorandum seeking a probe into the functioning of the TTD administration and the state government’s role to President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Dipak Mishra.

“The state government and TTD are making a big mistake by nominating priests who do not know anything about the temple and the Lord. Rules are being changed arbitrarily with the backing of the leadership. Sycophants of political leaders are destroying the sanctity of the temple and the performance of rituals of various sevas are being compromised,” he said. The chief pontiff had earlier levelled the same charges at a press briefing in Chennai earlier on Tuesday.

Listing out further irregularities, Dikshitulu said that only Aagama priests are eligible to touch the Lord and that this is being compromised now. According to him, till 1996, the ornaments were protected and maintained by the priests and their families.

“Now, there is no one to list out details of all the ornaments. No one is sure if all the ornaments are safe and protected,” he said and questioned about the whereabouts of the ornaments donated by Sri Krishna Devaraya. “Tirumala needs to be protected from such corrupt practices,” he added.