VISAKHAPATNAM: Ruling Telugu Desam Party MLA from Payakaraopeta Vangalapudi Anitha on Sunday sent a letter to Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu requesting him to cancel her appointment as member of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) Trust Board. Her appointment has turned controversial with some sections and political parties, including the BJP, alleging that she was made a member despite being a Christian. In the letter, Anitha reiterated that she was a Hindu belonging to the Scheduled Caste and an ardent devotee of Lord Venkateswara. However, she urged Naidu to scrap her appointment as she did not want the unsavoury controversy to cause him or the State government any embarrassment.
The first-time legislator, while thanking the Chief Minister for bestowing the honour on her, said she was deeply pained to learn that some groups with vested interests have created an unsavoury controversy. Speaking to Express, Anitha pointed fingers at the Opposition and alleged that they had targeted her as she was a Dalit. "I explained the whole issue and clarified that I am a Hindu, showing my old certificates which clearly prove my caste and religion. Even after that, some social media platforms continue to circulate the edited version of an interview which is misleading and they are calling me a non-Hindu," she said.
Anitha alleged, "As I belong to the Dalit community and being a woman legislator, our political rivals are intentionally throwing muck on me using this issue. They want me out of the new TTD Board just because of caste bias." A day after her appointment was announced on Friday, a video clip of an interview she had given to a private channel in 2014 surfaced on the social media. She is seen professing Christian faith in the clip but on Saturday, Anitha released full version of the interview wherein she is seen asserting her faith in all religions.
Nonetheless, the BJP in particular has made it an issue with its national spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao accusing the State government of hurting the sentiments of the Hindus.