Pala Sheshadri, also known as Dollar Seshadri, a senior priest at the Tirumala temple, died after a heart attack in the early hours of Monday. He was 74 years old at the time. While being transported to the hospital, the Special Duty Officer (OSD) of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) suffered a heart attack and died. During the visit of then-President Giani Zail Singh, PM P V Narasimha Rao, AB Vajpayee, Manmohan Singh, Narendra Modi, Chief Ministers of numerous states, Governors, and other VIPs to the temple, Seshadri served as a heavenly guide.
Dollar Seshadri, the great priest, had a huge influence in the government and had solid contacts with politicians and bureaucrats. Since the 2007 theft of 310 gold pieces known as dollars from the temple treasury, Seshadri has gained widespread attention. It was discovered that the cash vanished in 2005, while Seshadri was in charge. In August 2008, he was also suspended following a vigilance investigation that linked him to two Deputy Executive Officers. Seshadri, on the other hand, had written to TTD professing innocence.
After Seshadri was given an extension in 2010, Congress politician Magunthi Gopal Reddy filed a PIL in the Andhra Pradesh High Court challenging it. Even after his identity came to light in multiple temple ornaments scams, the petitioner claimed he was receiving unfair advantages from the TTD. He also asked the court to do a narcoanalysis and a lie detector test on Seshadri.
As per the information received, in 2011, the Andhra Pradesh High Court had completely cancelled the extension of Seshadri services. However, the super priest approached the Supreme Court, which ruled in his favour on the ground that a PIL cannot be filed on service-related matters. Since then, Sheshadri was being given an extension of service as OSD. It is said to be a record in the history of TTD. Andhra Pradesh CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has expressed grief over the passing away of TTD OSD Seshadri. The Chief Minister conveyed his condolences to the bereaved family members of Sheshadri, who had been with the TTD since 1978.