Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday criticised Bharatiya Janata Party state President PS Sreedharan Pillai for claiming that the party had orchestrated last month’s protests against the entry of women to the Sabarimala temple.

“The odious politics and perfidious ways of BJP stand exposed,” Vijayan tweeted after news channels played a video clip purportedly showing Pillai making the comments at a meeting in Kozhikode district on Sunday. “Evidence has surfaced that BJP leaders in the state connived to create trouble in Sabarimala. It must be noted that their state president himself was involved in the ruse. This is highly condemnable.”

In the video, Pillai is heard saying that Sabarimala was a “golden opportunity” and that others were falling for “BJP’s agenda”, reported Manorama Online. He was speaking at a closed-door state committee meeting of the party’s youth wing.

The BJP leader said Sabarimala was like a puzzle. “We cannot expect it to move along a fixed line,” he said. “It is not in our hands. But we have put forward an agenda and others are gradually falling for it. In the end, it looks like only we and our opposition and the ruling party will be the last people standing.”

Pillai then told the audience that the protests from October 17 to October 22 were “somewhat planned and executed by the BJP”. He said the party’s state general secretaries were deputed to specific locations and “they successfully completed their mission”. “When two women tried to enter the shrine, it was a district general secretary of the Yuva Morcha who mobilised devotees and prevented the move,” he added.

Pillai said Sabarimala’s chief priest Kandararu Rajeevaru had contacted him before declaring that he would shut the temple if customs were violated. The priest was concerned that his move would be contempt of the Supreme Court’s order, he added. The BJP leader said he assured Rajeevaru that a contempt case would not stand and thousands would rally in his support. “I also assured him that if at all a contempt case came up it would be first slapped against us,” Pillai added.

Later in the day, the BJP leader defended his decision to advise Rajeevaru. “So what? I am a lawyer too, he had taken a legal opinion from me,” Pillai told ANI. “Many Communist Party of India (Marxist) ministers have also taken opinion from me and I have fought their cases.”