BJP gives 24 hours to Kerala government to resolve Sabarimala row
With the Sabarimala Hindu temple set to open on Wednesday for monthly puja, Kerala BJP President P.S. Sreedharan Pillai warned the Left government to resolve the issue of women visitors or face "severe consequences".
The BJP, RSS, Congress and Hindu groups are up in arms against a September 28 Supreme Court ruling lifting the ban on entry of women in the 10-50 age group into the temple, saying it will breach age-old traditions.
Pillai, who led a huge protest from Pandalam on Monday, told the gathering of women and others in front of the state Secretariat here that if the Pinarayi Vijayan government failed to find a solution to the controversy, "then things will be bad".
"We give him 24 hours to resolve the issue. If he fails to do it, then he should be prepared to see a different type of protest from us. We will make it very clear that we are not trying to make political capital through this campaign," said Pillai.
Meanwhile, the Travancore Devasom Board (TDB), the custodian of the temple, said that if any woman in the banned age group turned up at the temple, they would be doing it only for publicity.
Kannur resident Reshma Nishant told the media on Monday that she was fully geared to travel to the temple.
"I am undertaking all the penance for the visit. When I made my intent known on social media, a section abused me while another section applauded me. I am a Communist and at the same time a believer in God," she said.
At the temple town, the board which says that entry is banned for women between aged between 10 and 50 has not been removed.
Meanwhile, senior CPI-M leader and Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan told the media on Monday that the Kerala government was duty bound to abide by the apex court directive.
"The state government will provide all the needed support and safety to all women who wish to come and pray at the temple," he said.
Senior CPI-M leader and Chairperson of the Kerala Women's Commission, M.C. Josephine, said that all those women desiring to go to the temple may pray at the shrine.
Leader of Opposition and Congress veteran Ramesh Chennithala said the BJP and RSS combine was trying to turn the Sabarimala issue into a problem area.
"The Centre is playing a double game as they are not coming out with an ordinance. We (Congress-led UDF) are fully with the believers and will go to any extent to protect the traditions of the temple," he said.
A meeting between TDB officials, the Pandalam royal family, representatives of the Sabarimala Tantri family and other Hindu organisations has been called by the TDB here on Tuesday.-IANS