Opposition Congress and the BJP on Wednesday threw out at the CPI(M)-led LDF government and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan after two women in their 40s entered the Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala.
The leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said the entry of the women into the shrine “hurt” the sentiments of devotees and it shows the headstrong attitude of the chief minister to take women of the traditionally “obstruct” age group to the temple.
“Who took them to the temple just after the women’s wall? They were absconding for many days after their first attempt to trek the hill on December 24. It’s okay that the women were under police protection. Police acted on behalf of the chief minister’s direction. This was a result of the obstinate attitude of the chief minister,” Mr. Chennithala told reporters here.
He also stated that the closure of the temple for the purification ceremony was “100 percent right”, adding the opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) will start agitation across the state.
State BJP chief P S Sreedharan Pillai said the Kerala government will face the “wrath” of Lord Ayyappa. He also alleged the state government “betrayed the sentiments of devotees”.
“The Communist leaders, their future generations, the Kerala government, all are not going to run from Lord Ayyappa’s wrath for all their wrong-doings at Sabarimala,” Sreedharan Pillai said.
BJP leader M T Ramesh said his party will help the “Nama Japam” (chanting of Ayyappa prayers) protest to be undertaken by the devotees across the state in the next two days.
“CPI(M) agenda is clear now. They need women to enter the temple. For the first time in the history, the temple has been closed due to the breaking of tradition. The chief minister is responsible for this,” Mr. Ramesh said.
Sabarimala Karma Samiti, which spearheaded the “Nama Japam” agitation against the state government’s decision to implement the vital court order allowing women of all ages into Sabarimala, sought the chief minister’s resignation.
“The chief minister betrayed the Kerala society. We will commence strong agitation against the women’s entry again,” S J R Kumar told PTI.
Two women in their 40s entered the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala early Wednesday and offered prayers at the shrine, where women of menstruating age are traditionally not permitted.
Despite the Supreme Court’s historic decision on September 28 last year, allowing women in the 10-50 age group, no children or young women in the “barred” group were able to offer prayers at the shrine following frenzied protests by devotees and right-wing outfits.
The women — Kanakadurga, 44, and Bindu, 42, — wearing the traditional black dress with their heads hidden climbed the hill shrine at 3.38 am on Wednesday.
The women trekked the hill a day after the state-sponsored 620-km-long ‘wall of women’, which was formed from Kasargode in the northern part of the state until the southern-most district of Thiruvananthapuram.