Hyderabad: Ruling Telugu Desam Party legislator Vangalapudi Anitha has asked the Andhra Pradesh government to withdraw her nomination from the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam’s (TTD) board but denied claims by Hindu groups that she is a Christian.

Her appointment to the temple board drew the ire of Hindu groups and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) last week, after a video surfaced purportedly showing Anitha saying she’s a Christian and that she carries a Bible with her.

According to an official from chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s office, Anitha wrote to the CM on Sunday evening asking him to withdraw her nomination.

Describing herself as a Hindu and a Scheduled Caste, she said, “I’m deeply pained to learn that some groups with vested interests have created an unsavoury controversy about this."

The TDP legislator said she had visited the shrine in Tirumala at Tirupati several times in the past to offer prayers, affirming her faith as Hindu.

BJP’s spokesperson Sudheesh Rambhotla said the state government should have checked her background before making the appointment.

TDP spokesperson Lanka Dinakar defended Anitha, saying, “As politician it is normal to go to other religious institutions, nor is it wrong to touch other holy books."

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