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Alekhya Harika quits as Telangana tourism brand ambassador after row

Bigg Boss (Telugu) 4 contestant and YouTube influencer Alekhya Harika on Thursday announced that she is giving up the post

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Hyderabad, March 11: After controversy erupted over her appointment as brand ambassador of Telangana tourism, Bigg Boss (Telugu) 4 contestant and YouTube influencer Alekhya Harika on Thursday announced that she is giving up the post “due to some reasons”.

In a video message posted on social media, she said “she was not continuing (on the post) due to some reasons”. She thanked all those who supported her.

“As you all know, was appointed for promoting and marketing the tourism dept hotels and properties earlier but then will not be continuing it further due to several other reasons. And thanks to all my well-wishers, and sorry for all the disappointment, love u all,” Harika tweeted.

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Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation (TSTDC) had announced Harika’s appointment as brand ambassador on International Women’s Day on Monday.

TSTDC Chairman Uppala Srinivas Gupta had handed over the appointment letter to the actor.

Harika, who has around one million followers on Instagram and around 1.6 million on YouTube, had expressed happiness over her appointment.

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However, a controversy erupted after state tourism minister Srinivas Goud reportedly expressed unhappiness over the appointment.

Goud and some senior officials of the department were reportedly unhappy as the appointment was made without their knowledge.

However, Srinivas Gupta had denied the reports and clarified that Harika is not being removed.

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Gupta had defended Harika’s appointment saying after the losses suffered by the tourism sector due to Covid-induced lockdown, they needed a face who can help the department with more online publicity of tourism destinations.

As the controversy surrounding her appointment refused to die down, she decided to quit.

Alekhya Harika, who became popular with YouTube channel ‘Dethadi’, was one of the top five contestants in season four of Big Boss Telugu.

The 23-year-old from Telangana was also seen on several Telugu TV shows.

This is the second time that appointment of tourism brand ambassador in the state sparked a controversy.

Earlier, some right wing groups had opposed appointment of tennis star Sania Mirza citing her marriage to Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik. The groups raised the issue again and demanded her removal after terror attack in Pulwama in 2019.

The groups had also opposed Sania’s appointment on the ground that she can’t truly represent the Telangana culture.

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