VIJAYAWADA: A day after nominating 24 members to the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) Trust Board, the State government, for the first time, nominated seven special invitees to the Board and, in the process, ran into a controversy for nominating AJ Sekhar (J Sekhar Reddy), a sand mining baron who was arrested for being in possession of huge amounts of new Rs 2,000 notes post-demonetisation during I-T raids.
This is for the first time that the TTD Trust Board will have special invitees. Of the seven special invitees, the name of Sekhar Reddy, currently president of the Local Advisory Committee of the TTD in Chennai, raised many an eyebrow. He was earlier on the TTD Trust Board but was removed in 2016 after he came under the scrutiny of the I-T department, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Sekhar Reddy was found in possession of `34 crore in brand new `2,000 currency notes during Income Tax raids on his properties and those of his friends and relatives in December 2016. Subsequently, cases were registered against him for alleged money laundering by the ED. The CBI and the ED filed three separate FIRs against him.
The arrest of Sekhar Reddy and his alleged links with bureaucrats and politicians had then hit the headlines. As part of the investigation into his case, raids were also conducted on the then Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary Ram Mohana Rao and his family members.p6