THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: On the eve of the reopening of places of worship, Union Minister V Muraleedharan came down heavily on the state government for its decision to reopen temples despite ‘opposition’ from devotees. The Union Minister’s criticism evoked a sharp reaction from the state government.“The Kerala government’s decision to reopen temples despite opposition from devotees smells foul. Neither the devotees nor the temple committees demanded the opening of temples,” Muraleedhran tweeted. He also questioned the ‘haste’ behind the decision and wondered whether it was a deliberate attempt by the “atheist Pinarayi Vijayan government to denigrate devotees”
Devaswom Minister Kadakamapally Surendran reacted sharply to the Union minister’s statement. The minister told TNIE that Muraleedhran should “first correct the Prime Minister” as the decision to reopen places of worship was taken on the basis of the Centre’s guidelines. “It is sad he (Muraleedharan) has resorted to low-grade politics. The state has already clarified that places of worship will be reopened with strict restrictions, as suggested by the Centre,” Surendran said.