A Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MLA -- Gali Muddukrishnama Naidu asserted that Navandar visited the temple in a VIP pass. Navandar is alleged to be a member of Chhota Shakeel's gang.
Chhota Shakeel's aide visited Lord Balaji with VIP pass
At least one lakh pilgrims visited Tirumala on the eve of Vaikunta Ekadasi to have a glimpse of Lord Balaji. Navandar, who hails from Mumbai, reportedly received special treatment from the administrative officials of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD).
According to media reports, Navandar was accompanied by Maharashtra's housing minister, Sachin Ahir, during his first visit to the temple and by Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray during his second darshan.
TTD chairman Kanumuri Bapiraju, however, claimed that he was not aware of Navadar's alleged underworld connection. He was quoted as saying, "I have no idea that Navandar had underworld links and that he was part of an entourage that was accorded protocol passes."