Vizianagaram: Former Union Minister and deposed chairman of MANSAS trust P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Tuesday found fault with government action with regard to the trust.
Talking to reporters here for the first time after the government replaced him with Sanchaita as chairperson of the trust, he explained that MANSAS was set up by his late father PVG Raju for educational service and its bylaws were clear as to who should be chairman of the trust. “I don’t know if the gentlemen in the government are educated or not. If they are educated, they would not have resorted to such illegal actions,” he commented.
He said that Sanchaita was a member of his family and it was a pity that he was forced to clear the charges levelled by her. There was not a single instance of violation of the trust bylaws by him and was ready to face any action if proved wrong, he said.
Rebuking Municipal Administration minister Botsa Satyanarayana who said that MANSAS issue was merely a family row, Raju said that the minister did not know the difference between the properties of a trust and that of individuals, and would be glad to learn from the minister what exactly he had meant.
The former Union Minister said that his father PVG Raju had established the trust in 1957 and he was succeeded by his elder son Anand Gajapathi Raju. After Anand’s death, he (Ashok) became chairman as per the bylaws. He stated that he was not a government nominated person and the post did not carry any specific term unlike temple trust boards. The government without any knowledge of this, was acting illegally, he observed.
He remarked that those who had taken oath that they would act without malice were now acting differently and issued midnight GOs to appoint a chairperson for the trust. Since the trust was registered under the Endowments Act all decisions taken by the trustees would be within the jurisdiction of the department, he pointed out.
Raju also alleged that the government which was creating confusion in all institutions, was plotting to annex the lands of the trust and the decision to bring the temple and endowment lands under the Collector’s purview was part of this. The government had taken a similar stand in the case of Tirupati and its actions hurt the sentiments of the Hindus, he stated.
He also denied that he had plans to change the party and clarified that he would continue in the Telugu Desam Party which he served since its inception.
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