Now, Devaswom Minister says only two women entered Sabarimala

Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Left Government in the state is continuing with its flip-flop on the Sabarimala women’s entry issue.

Published: 05th February 2019 03:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th February 2019 12:06 PM   |  A+A-

Kerala Minister Kadakampally Surendran (Facebook photo)

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Left Government in the state is continuing with its flip-flop on the Sabarimala women’s entry issue. Contrary to what it told the Supreme Court a fortnight ago, Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran informed the Assembly on Monday that only two women aged below 50 had visited Sabarimala.

In a written reply to K Muraleedharan, Eldose Kunnapally, Anil Akkara and I C Balakrishnan of the Congress, the minister said, according to the information received from the Sabarimala executive officer, only two women entered the hill shrine. To another question, Kadakampally said there is no confirmation the Sri Lankan woman had darshan.

Kadakampally Surendran

After submitting the list of 51 at the Supreme Court, the government revised it to 17 following widespread criticism that many women above 50 years and even men were included in the list. Red-faced, the government said it had not directed to present the report to the court.

The state government’s sudden change in the stance is apparently due to political reasons. It has taken the U-turn, with just two days remaining for the Supreme Court to consider the matter. The apex court is expected to consider the review petitions challenging its judgement allowing women of all age groups to enter the temple. Political analysts feel the government’s latest move is aimed at wriggling out of the situation, especially with the Lok Sabha elections fast approaching. 

Nothing wrong in rituals: Thantri

T’Puram: Thantri Kandararu Rajeevaru told the Travancore Devaswom Board there was nothing wrong in him closing the Sabarimala temple aand conducting purification rituals after two women entered the shrine.

Kodiyeri points fingers at NSS for ‘intimidation’

Kozhikode: CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan on Monday said ‘intimidation’ by the Nair Service Society (NSS) will have no impact on the CPM. He also cautioned the NSS that stating its political stance would backfire. 

Kadakampally feigns ignorance about written reply

Speaking to Express, Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran feigned ignorance about the written reply. “This hasn’t come to my attention. In the Assembly, during discussion, I’ve taken a position that several women would’ve entered the temple as we don’t have any methods or means to confirm the women’s age. I’ll look into this to find out what happened in the written reply,” he said. Muraleedharan said the sudden change shows the government is totally in the dark and had tried to even mislead the SC by giving an affidavit that 51 young women had entered the hill shrine.

“The answer given to our question clearly shows only two women of restricted age have entered the temple. It proves the government misled the public and even the SC. We’ll decide on the next step after discussing it in the UDF,” he said.

BJP state general secretary M T Ramesh accused the government of lying. “The government as always is lying on the issue. It shows they could pave entry for only two women, that too in the darkness and in camouflage. It’s a clear indicator the government has miserably failed and this is the success of the believers,” said Ramesh. Hindu Aikya Vedi state general secretary K P Sasikala blamed the government of being callous in its approach.

“The government keeps changing its stand. It shows the callous manner in which it’s handling a very serious issue of Hindus. This is cheating and this government believes it can get away with anything and everything.”

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