THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has come down heavily on BJP State president Kummanam Rajasekharan for his remark over non-Hindu vendors at temple premises.
Chandy said Kummanam’s statements would create division among the people. “If there are practical issues about vendors from other religions operating near places of worship that would be examined,” Chandy added.
Kummanam stated that temple committees could decide on letting vendors from other religions operate at temple premises. “BJP should not forget Kerala’s secular history. Kerala has a tradition of people from all religions peacefully co-existing. It was the Christian and Muslim families who used to bring certain offerings like jiggery to temples in Travancore and Malabar. Even now, many temples follow these traditions. People from other religions are part of many temple committees,” Chandy said, referring to Ayyappa devotees visiting the Mosque of Vavar and the Arthunkal Church.
Chandy further said that communal riots rarely happen in Kerala. Meanwhile, Pinarayi Vijayan, the CPI(M) politburo member, termed Kummanam’s statement as a part of the Hindutva agenda. “ It is part of the RSS move to create communal tension in the State,” he said.
‘POLARISATION OF ANTI-BJP PARTIES ON’
The new BJP state chief pointed out that there’s a polarisation of anti-BJP parties in the state. “The Congress and Left forces have come together to oppose BJP. Now, there are only two political forces in Kerala: BJP and anti-BJP or those who support Narendra Modi and those who oppose him,” he said.
VALUE-BASED POLITICS IS NEED OF THE HOUR
There’s no difference between Congress-led United Democratic Front and CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front in Kerala. Referring to the letter row involving Minister Ramesh Chennithala, Kummanam said they are following politics of appeasement instead of value-based politics. Underscoring the need to bring back value-based politics in Kerala, the new state president said he would continue his fight for the marginalised and the environment. Kummanam demanded that there should be an action plan for the protection of the Western Ghats.
EQUAL RIGHT TO PERFORM RITUALS, POOJAS
The BJP state president said believers from all communities have the right to perform rituals and offer poojas at temples, including Sabarimala and Guruvayur. Referring to the famous ‘Palium Vilambarama’, Kummanam said the right to offer poojas does not come as a birthright, but it’s a right acquired by actions.
‘ENTRUST TEMPLE ADMN TO DEVOTEES’
Coming down heavily on the so-called secularists, Kummanam Rajasekharan said religious discrimination has been practiced in the state in the name of secularism. Temple administration, he said, should be entrusted with devotees. He also demanded that the government should take measures to retain the temple land usurped over the years.