Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Tuesday speaks out at the BJP and right-wing outfits, accusing them of exploiting the Sabarimala matter for their “political gains” and trying to ‘capture’ and take control of the Lord Ayyappa shrine. In hard-hitting remarks amid continuing protests over the matter of entry of women in menstrual age into the shrine, he said that the Sangh Parivar’s agenda was to create trouble by sending “karsevaks” to take control of the temple and make the pilgrims the “scapegoats”.
Labeling a press conference here, he also defended the arrest of 69 people from the temple complex on Sunday night and slammed the Congress for opposing implementation of the Supreme Court order allowing women of all age groups to offer prayers at the hill-top shrine. He stated that the RSS and Congress “have become one” on the Sabarimala issue.
His comments came on a day when BJP President Amit Shah slammed the LDF government’s handling of the matter in Sabarimala as “disappointing” and accused it of treating pilgrims as “Gulag inmates” and making them spend nights next to “pig droppings”.
Asserting that his party stands firmly with the eachAyyappa devotee who holds the Sabarimala tradition close to his heart, Shah in a series of tweets said BJP would not let the LDF “crush people’s faith with impunity”.
Vijayan asserted that Sabarimala would not be permitted to be transformed into a “center of violence” and his government “will not compromise” with those perpetrating violence in the temple complex. He Commented that Sangh Parivar was “exploiting Sabarimala in the name of faith” and trying to take control of Sabarimala temple.
“All safety would be given to the pilgrims visiting the shrine for darshan,” Vijayan said.
Targeting the main opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front, he said the Congress’ national leadership wanted the Supreme Court verdict to be implemented, but the state unit had a different take. “Ramesh Chennithala (leader of the opposition in the state assembly) has changed his stance multiple times which ultimately assisted the Sangh Parivar politics,” he said. Confronting the police action on Sunday night arresting 69 devotees from ‘Sannidhanam’ (the main temple complex), the Chief Minister said: “conscious efforts” were created by some people to stay back there even after the customary closing song “Harivarasanam” and despite prohibitory orders.
“Many of them have not come to the temple through the normal route but preferred the forest path evading checking. Regular efforts were made by some people to stay back at Sannidhanam even after ‘Harivarasanam’,” he said.
“Their specific plan is to gain full control of Sabarimala,” Vijayan charged and named six Sangh Parivar office-bearers whom he said that posed as devotees to create problems at Sabarimala on Sunday night. The Chief Minister also said to a BJP circular through which, he said, it had planned to deploy its cadre in an organized manner at Sabarimala to ensure that no young women would enter the shrine on the strength of the September 28 verdict lifting the ban on women in 10-50 age group.
“As per the circular of the BJP, they would be sending the “karsevaks” with a hidden agenda to capture and take control of Sabarimala,” Vijayan alleged.