Sabarimala: All-party meet fails to end the impasse

Sabarimala All-party meet fails to end the impasse

An all-party meeting called by the State government here on Thursday failed to break the deadlock on the Sabarimala temple matter after the Opposition parties, the Congress and the BJP, refused to give ground.

But a different meeting with the Pandalam Palace, which is strongly linked to the legacy of Lord Ayyappa, and the Sabarimala Tantri (high priests) family concluded on a positive note.

A representative of the palace said the talks were satisfactory and both sides managed to convey their matter without much rancor.

The Chief Minister had explained his position in the light of the September 28 Supreme Court order which permitted access to women of all ages to the temple. Traditionally, women of 10 – 50 years were not permitted into the hill shrine. The Apex court’s order sparked strong protests across the State. The government has said it would toe the Court’s line.

Both the palace and the Tantri representatives reiterated that they would not compromise with on their stand against the entry of young women into the temple.

Before, the Congress and the BJP, which have adopted the traditional view, walked out midway through an all-party meeting called by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, dismissing it as a ‘farce’ and ‘a waste of time.’

This has raised safety issues ahead of the opening of the hill shrine on Friday for the two-months-long annual Mandalapuja-Makaravilakku festival. The Chief Minister cleared that there was no question of disobeying the Supreme Court order. The Supreme Court has posted a batch of review petitions for hearing in open court for January 22, 2019.

In the context of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the CPI(M)- Left Democratic Front State government needs to find a middle ground. The NDA-BJP have called for a strategy session in Kochi on Friday on how to sustain protests against the SC verdict.

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