Kerala Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran on Thursday claimed that leaders of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh had moved the Supreme Court 12 years ago seeking entry of all women into the Sabarimala Temple, reported PTI.
“Hardcore RSS leaders had approached the Supreme Court 12 years ago, seeking entry of women of all age-groups into Sabarimala,” the minister said. He alleged that by taking a contradictory stand now, the Sangh Parivar was trying to gain political advantage by misleading people.
Surendran’s comments come after activists of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s youth wing on Thursday protested outside his house against the state government’s decision to not file a review petition in the Supreme Court challenging the Sabarimala verdict.
The protests on Thursday turned violent after Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha activists attempted to take down police barricades a few metres away from Surendran’s house in Thiruvananthapuram. The police used water cannons and tear gas shells to disperse the crowd.
Surendran urged the protesters to remain calm till the Supreme Court took a decision on the review petitions filed by various organisations. The minister said certain modes of agitation such as roadblocks were against the wishes of Lord Ayyappa, the deity of the shrine.
The Travancore Devaswom Board manages the temple shrine.
The protests were an attempt to destabilise the government, said Left Democratic Front Convener A Vijayaraghavan. He claimed the Opposition was using the Supreme Court judgement to attack the government at a time when the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) was being commended for its relief work after devastating floods in the state.
The Left Democratic Front will organise public meetings in all 14 districts of the state this month to put forth the government’s stand on the verdict, he said. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will address meetings in Thiruvananthapuram on October 16, at Pathanamthitta on October 23, and at Kollam on October 24, said Vijayaraghavan.
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party state president PS Sreedharan Pillai addressed a “Save Sabarimala Yatra” in Alappuzha district. He claimed that the march, which started from Pandalam on Wednesday and will conclude in the state capital on October 15, was getting support from the general public.
Surendran equated the five-day march to Thiruvananthapuram to the ‘rath yatra’ organised by the party to Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has accused the Congress and the BJP of playing divisive politics over the matter and said the two parties were trying to inflame communal passions.