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Andhra Pradesh MLC Shaik Sabji 'involved' in Tirumala tickets' racket; booked

Author: Sandeep Raghavan, TNN
Publication: The Times of India
Date: April 21, 2023
URL:      https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/vijayawada/andhra-pradesh-mlc-shaik-sabji-involved-in-tickets-racket-at-tirumala-booked/articleshow/99665877.cms?from=mdr

Andhra Pradesh legislative council member from the East-West Godavari teachers' constituency Shaik Sabji was taken into custody on Friday by the TirumalaTirupati Devasthanams (TTD) vigilance and security wing in connection with Srivari darshan tickets' racket at Tirumala in Tirupati district.

This is the first time in recent times that an elected representative has been involved in the black marketing of darshan tickets at the Tirumala temple.

According to the TTD's vigilance wing, the MLC collected Rs 1 lakh for providing darshan for six devotees under Rs 300 special entry darshan category and also used fake Aadhaar cards to illegitimately obtain the Srivari darshan tickets.

In the complaint lodged at the Tirumala I town police station on Friday, the TTD vigilance wing alleged that the MLC sent an advanced intimation to the JEO's office regarding issuance of VIP break darshan under the protocol category for 14 persons.

However, after the JEO's office clarified that a maximum of only 10 VIP Darshan passes can be issued for each VVIP.

Meanwhile, when Shaik Sabji arrived for darshan early this morning along with other devotees, the vigilance wing found out that the Aadhaar cards submitted by the devotees were fake.

When questioned by the vigilance and security wing, it was learned that the devotees accompanying MLC Shaik Sabji paid him Rs 1 lakh for obtaining VIP darshan tickets which are priced at Rs 500 each.

More, the MLC had issued 19 recommendation letters for darshan tickets at the Tirumala temple during the last one month alone.
It is suspected that a majority of these tickets were sold away at exorbitant rates.

The Aadhaar cards submitted along with the darshan application were tampered.

While the address of the devotees in the Aadhaar cards submitted while applying for darshan tickets is of Hyderabad, the devotees actually belonged to Karnataka.

All the illegal money obtained from the devotees through the black marketing of darshan tickets were routed through the bank accounts of the MLC's car driver.

Following a complaint lodged by the TTD's vigilance wing, Tirumala I town police registered a case.
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