THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The BJP called off its 49-day relay hunger strike in front of the Secretariat on Sunday. Though state president P S Sreedharan Pillai himself admitted the agitation was not a complete success, the party and RSS believe it has achieved its desired political mileage.
National executive member P K Krishnadas broke his fast by sipping lemon juice in the presence of several leaders even though V Muraleedharan MP and state general secretary K Surendran were conspicuous by their absence.
The saffron party decided to call off the agitation following the closure of Sabarimala temple and also due to the stubborn approach of the state government and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Pillai, meanwhile, said the party would continue the hunger strike once the Sabarimala temple reopens for the Kumbha monthly poojas mid-February.
“The agitation has turned the entire attention towards the BJP and even the Chief Justice of India said he knew the developments on the Sabarimala issue. Even the international media took up the issue, thanks to the BJP’s relay hunger strike,” Pillai told Express.
The RSS leadership too felt the agitation had made its impact. “You can’t achieve results when a stubborn and arrogant Chief Minister is at the helm. But the agitation and relay hunger strike have put the BJP in focus, which is an important development for a political movement. The BJP has succeeded in this,” a senior pracharak said.
The BJP leadership is also of the opinion the party can gain benefits in the state during the coming Lok Sabha elections owing to the Sabarimala issue.
‘Pinarayi’s obstinacy caused Sabarimala issue’
The chief seer of Kolathur Adwaitasram Swami Chidanandapuri has said the obstinacy and anti-Hindu attitude of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan caused the Sabarimala issue. He was giving the presidential address at the Ayyappa Bhakta Sangamam organised on Sunday. Around two lakh people from five southern districts participated in the programme, said organisers. Swami called upon devotees to be on the guard as the government has set its eyes on Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple. He said the state government tried to implement a declaratory judgement of the SC with the connivance of the state police. He rebuked the police for providing its uniform to activists Rehana Fathima and Kavitha to climb the hill shrine and said several police officers who are true believers of Lord Ayyappa were crying from inside during the atrocities carried out at Sabarimala. He alleged that there has been a systematic attack against Sabarimala temple.
Conscious efforts to cover up Sabarimala facts: Pinarayi
Women of all ages have visited Sabarimala for monthly puja till 1991, and there have been conscious efforts to cover up matters related to Sabarimala, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Addressing a seminar organised by EMS Academy on here on Sunday, Pinarayi said those who espouse casteist mindset are the ones who first started protests against the SC verdict on Sabarimala. He also said that the agitation organised by the BJP was a total failure. “The facts related to Sabarimala are being consciously obfuscated. Till 1991, women used to go there for monthly pooja. Only after the 1991 court verdict the practice (of women being barred) came to being. How can the practice that came in 1991 become tradition of the land? The Supreme Court has now deemed it unconstitutional,” Pinarayi said.