Hushed-up spat brewing over Sai Baba's Rs 40,000 cr trust?

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Satya Sai Baba
Puttaparthi, Apr 25: The spiritual guru, Sathya Sai Baba is no more after he succumbed to illness on Sunday, Apr 24. With devotees still mourning the huge loss, there is another war brewing in the horizon. This tiff is regarding the huge trust that was under the chairmanship of Sai Baba which is worth an estimated Rs 40,000 crore.

With no apparent succession plans in place, there are two likely candidates who are to be placed in the plump role. With an empire that includes numerous organisations, the Sathya Sai central Trust has over 1500 centres across the world. The empire spans hospitals, schools and other educational institutions. (Watch: Pics for Puttaparthi)

The front runners are Baba's nephew RJ Ratnakar and the Baba's trusted disciple Satyajit who are most likely to hold the reins of the trust. The trust itself comprises of noted names like former IAS officer K Chakravarthy, Scientist Venkataraman, former CVC S V Giri and RJ Ratnakar. Ratnakar is the only family member in the trust. The clout enjoyed by Satyajit cannot be ignored as he too holds a key role. He was the Baba's caregiver and according to Baba's own submission earlier, he will also assume a bigger role in affairs.

In a statement given out by AP Minister Geetha Reddy, there are no difference of opinion on the succession front and everything was black and white and there is no confusion whatsoever. Another close aide of the Baba, D Adikeshavulu, who also heads the Whitefield Centre was however of the opinion that the government will have to play a role to clear the succession issue.

There were widespread rumours on the accounting system of the trust and its lack of transparency. The question remains who would head the trust that has a lot riding on it.

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