Shabarimalai: One more talk on Tuesday
Thiruvananthapuram: In a last-ditch effort to avert a showdown with devotees, the Travancore Dewasom Board (TDB) has called another meeting on Tuesday, 16th October 2018 with Sabarimala tantri (supreme priest), Pandalam’s erstwhile royal family and Ayyappa Sewa Sangh.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is spearheading the campaign against the Supreme Court order, has rejected the talks offer. However, the tantri and erstwhile Pandalam royals said they will announce their decision later.
“We are confident the issue will be sorted out amicably. We will hear all stakeholders patiently. We don’t want to make it a political issue. At the same time we will convince them about our limitations,” said A Padmakumar, TDB president.
With just three days left for the temple to open for monthly poojas (Oct 17) mass protests have left the state government worried.
“We don’t expect much from the TDB president who is a puppet in the hands of the ruling CPI(M),” said BJP state president P S Sreedharan Pillai. He said the government had wasted enough time by challenging devotees and making provocative statements.
“The government should have taken everyone into confidence once the verdict was out. Instead, it made some provocative statements like deployment of women police and officials that angered devotees. I feel the government is responsible for the present mess,” said one of the three tantris Mohanaru Kandararu.
Meanwhile, the BJP-led NDA’s ‘Long March’, which started last week from Pandalam in protest against the state government’s decision to implement the top court order without going for a review, reached Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday, 14th October 2018.
Actor-turned-MP Suresh Gopi flagged off the rally here at Alamkode. “Each BJP worker will fight till his final drop of blood is shed to protect the sanctity of the centuries old tradition of Sabarimala,” Pillai said addressing the rally. The march, which criss- crossed the southern districts of the state, would conclude before the state Secretariat, the administrative hub in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday, 15th October 2018.
Hundreds of activists of Antarashtriya Hindu Parishad (AHP) also took out a rally, urging the state and central government to address the concerns of the devotees. AHP president Pravin Togadia called for strike in the state on October 18 if the Left government implements the apex court order.
A group of Yuva Morcha activists took out a march to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s residence at northern Kannur district. Police blocked the agitators by putting up barricades a few kilometers away from the residence.
On September 28, a five-judge Constitution bench, headed by then chief justice Dipak Misra, lifted the ban on the entry of women of menstrual age into the shrine.