Wednesday 24 October 2018 1:18 AM UTC
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM Oct 24: Hitting out at the BJP and RSS for the agitation at Sabarimala, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday said the protests were a “planned” and “deliberate” attempt to create an atmosphere of tension in the state and asserted that no force will be allowed to turn the shrine complex into a center for trouble-makers.
Speaking with reporters, he alleged that the Sangh Parivar was attempting to “insult” and “mislead” believers.
Alleging there was a “hidden conspiracy” to destroy peace at Sabarimala, where the Lord Ayyappa temple is located, he said the agitations were a “planned and deliberate attempt” to create an atmosphere of tension in the state.
While maintaining that faith of believers would be respected, Mr Vijayan made it clear that the government had the responsibility to implement the Supreme Court order.
The Supreme Court had in a historic verdict on September 28 permitted women of all ages to offer prayers at Sabarimala,where earlier those between 10-50 could not visit.
Mr Vijayan said both the main opposition Congress and BJP were “playing politics” on the Sabarimala issue and they had welcomed the Supreme Court verdict earlier.
Some leaders of the Congress are joining hands with the RSS and it was a “dangerous trend,” he said.
Attempts are being made to destroy the peace and harmony at Sabarimala, he said, adding criminals will not be allowed to turn the temple complex into a trouble zone.
The government will restore the peace and harmony at Sabarimala and this will be through the cooperation of “actual believers” of Lord Ayyappa, Mr Vijayan said.
At least 12 women in the 10-50 age group had made a failed attempt to trek the hills and had to return following protests from believers.
Even women over the age of 50 were stopped at Sabarimala. This situation cannot be allowed, the Chief Minister said.
Mr Vijayan also made it clear that it was the constitutional responsibility of the LDF government to implement the court order and said protection will be given to women who wish to offer prayers at the shrine.
The blocking of women and attack on media personnel, who had come to cover the historic event, was part of a conspiracy led by the RSS, he alleged.
The temple in Sabarimala had witnessed high drama and tense moments for six days when it was opened for monthly prayers from October 17 to 22.
He also said a “heinous attempt” was made by the Sangh parivar to communalise the state police, apparently referring to the cyber attacks faced by IGPs Manoj Abraham and S Sreejith, who had been deputed to the temple to maintain law and order.
Mr Vijayan also criticised temple tantri (priest), Kandararu Rajeevaru, who had said he would close the temple and go if women were allowed inside the shrine and the agitation by assistants of priests who had protested near the holy 18 steps.
A series of protests was witnessed across the state since the CPI(M)-led LDF government decided to implement the verdict.
Reacting to Mr Vijayan’s attack, BJP State President, PS Sreedharan Pillai blamed the “stubbornness” of the chief minister for the present situation in Sabarimala.
The government should rectify its mistakes and protect the faith of believers.The massive support the devotees received across the state had left the ruling CPI(M) and LDF in “jitters” which was why they have started a campaign, including family meets to explain the government’s stand on the issue, he said.
Pandalam Royal family member Sasi Kumar Varma said even though the government used all its machinery and tried to bring women, barred by tradition, to the shrine, they could not succeed.
The LDF has decided to hold “explanatory” meetings in all districts headquarters and at the booth level.
Main opposition, Congress-led UDF, which has made it clear that they will be with the believers, is also launching similar meetings to explain their stand and “expose” the alleged hidden agenda of the BJP and the ruling LDF.
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