PATHANAMTHITTA: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has toughened the stance on the Sabarimala issue by lambasting the thantri for the move to close the Lord Ayyappa temple and reiterated the government decision not to file a review petition against the Supreme Court order allowing women of all ages to enter the temple.
Addressing a public function after a rally on Tuesday, the Chief Minister questioned the power of the thantri to close the ‘sreekovil’ (sanctum sanctorum) of the temple if the women in the restricted age of 10 to 50 years offer worship at Lord Ayyappa temple.
Pinarayi pointed out the thantri had no right to close down the sreekovil of the temple as the temple is owned by the Travancore Devaswom Board. He said if Lord Ayyappa is a ‘naishtika brahmachari’, the thantri should also be like the deity.
“Everybody knows the character and behaviour of the thantri family,” said Pinarayi.
The thantri family, which claims rights over the temple, originally belonged to erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, he said.
The Chief Minister reaffirmed the government stance against filing a review petition against the Supreme Court’s five-judge verdict. The government will ensure the facilities for the women of all ages who wish to offer darsan at the temple and give fool-proof protection for fulfilling the wishes of women.
“The government will not allow a repeat of the situation created by people in the name of devotees in the just-concluded five-day monthly pooja at Sabarimala,” Pinarayi said.
The problems at Sabarimala were created by hired goons by vested interests to pose problems to women who come for worship, he said.
The Chief Minister warned of stern action against law-breakers if the situation was repeated.
He said the government will not allow anyone to take the law into their hands in the name of devotees.
The government will ensure the implementation of the Supreme Court order in true spirit, he said. The Chief Minister cautioned the Travancore Devaswom Board against filing a status report in haste before the Supreme Court. Before filing the report, the TDB should have a rethink on the response of the court, he said.
Pinarayi pointed out the Pandalam Palace had no right on Sabarimala temple as the palace sold Sabarimala to Travancore when they were in debt. The Chief Minister ridiculed the Pandalam royal family for creating a furore over the issue of rights over the hill shrine.