More than a year after he was removed from the post of chairman of Maharajah Alak Narayan Society of Arts and Science (MANSAS) in Vizianagaram district and Simhachalaram Devasthanams Trust Board, veteran Telugu Desam Party leader and former Union minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju is back in the posts after winning the legal battle.
The Andhra Pradesh state high court on Monday dismissed the government orders issued by the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in March 2020, replacing Ashok Gajapathi Raju with his niece Sanchaita Gajapathi Raju.
Acting on a writ petition filed by Raju, the high court ruled that as per the trust norms, the appointment of Sanchaita as the chairperson of MANSAS Trust and Simhachalam Trust Board was illegal.
It said Ashok Gajapathi Raju would continue to be the chairman of both the trusts and related institutions and directed that the government issue fresh orders reappointing Raju as the chairman of the trusts.
Sanchaita, daughter of Ashok’s elder brother Ananda Gajapathi Raju, who had not been active in the past, suddenly came to the limelight when she was appointed as the chairperson of the trusts established by Raju’s father P V G Raju.
Earlier, she was running an NGO and later joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. However, her appointment as the chairperson of the trusts was strongly opposed by the state BJP leaders.
MANSAS trust is a charitable trust under Endowments department, which runs 12 educational institutions, including a medical college and Raju’s family donated more than 13,000 acres spread over four districts to this trust.