A rift emerged in the Pinarayi Vijayan-Led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government Kerala on Thursday after state law minister A K Balan walked out of the all-party meeting called by the chief minister in Thiruvananthapuram to discuss the issues related to Sabarimala Temple ahead of pilgrim season. Opposition Congress also walked out of the all-party meeting called by Vijayan. While Opposition leader and Congress MLA Ramesh Chennithala alleged that the government stuck to their earlier stand and didn’t listen to their suggestions, Kerala BJP president PS Sreedharan Pillai said the meeting was a sheer waste of time. However, state Chief Minister reiterated his earlier stance that he will implement the Supreme Court order to allow women of all age groups to enter Sabarimala temple.
The latest political development in Kerala comes a day after a five-judge Supreme Court Constitution Bench comprising CJI Ranjan Gogoi and justices Rohington Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra agreed on Tuesday to hear all 49 review pleas pertaining to entry of women into Sabarimala temple in Kerala in open court on January 22, 2019. After the Supreme Court allowed women of all age groups into the temple in its September 28 verdict, the right-wing and Hindu outfits are on a warpath over the state government’s decision to go ahead and implement the apex court verdict. Breaking centuries-old tradition, the Supreme Court on 28th September had allowed women of all age groups to enter Sabarimala temple. The temple had witnessed massive protests from Hindu organisations including Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) which have contended that the age-old tradition of temples should be respected.
Kerala’s LDF and main Opposition Congress had accused the RSS-BJP of trying to create an Ayodhya-like situation in Sabarimala. Criticising the massive protests demonstrated by the devotees, the state government also argued the temple site can’t be used by the activists for showcasing their power. Pinarayi Vijayan had earlier said that the September 28 verdict of the apex court stands and it means that the entry of women should be allowed and the state government is bound to implement the verdict.
On Monday, the Kerala government submitted an affidavit in the Kerala High Court expressing its desire to stay away from the religious matter. The petition claimed that the state government had no rights in Sabarimala and it has no intentions to interfere in religion, reports said.
The Sabarimala temple will reopen for devotees from November 16.