U-turn lands Travancore Devasom Board in a mess, president A Padmakumar confused

 Crisis has deepened in the Travancore Devasom Board (TDB) a day after it did a U-turn before the Supreme Court on women’s entry issue.

Published: 08th February 2019 01:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th February 2019 01:23 AM   |  A+A-

A Padmakumar

Travancore Devaswom Board President A Padmakumar (Photo | YouTube screengrab)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  Crisis has deepened in the Travancore Devasom Board (TDB) a day after it did a U-turn before the Supreme Court on women’s entry issue. Making his resentment evident, TDB president A Padmakumar has asked an explanation from Dewaswom Commissioner N Vasu, who represented the Board in New Delhi.

The Board had opposed young women’s entry during the earlier hearing, but took an opposite stand when the apex court considered the review petitions on Wednesday. Speaking to media, TDB president Padmakumar said the Board’s decision was not to support the entry of women of restricted age group into the Sabarimala temple. He said he did not know of the Board’s advocate not mentioning the petition seeking more time on women’s entry and instead arguing for the entry. He said it was done without his knowledge. 

TDB issue takes a political turn

Justice Indu Malhotra asked the Board during the hearing as to whether it is supporting women’s entry, having opposed it earlier. Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, appearing for the TDB, said after the Supreme Court’s September 28 order, the Board is for entry of all women and that it is not moving a review petition. Padmakumar, who said the Board’s stance at the Supreme Court has created a major unrest among believers, added he has asked for an explanation from its commissioner.

Vasu told reporters the Board has not changed its position in the apex court and added Justice Malhotra did not ask about the TDB’s change of position. He added he has not received any call from the Board president seeking explanation. Vasu further said the TDB advocate had mentioned in the court it would abide by the Supreme Court ruling and added it was based on the decision taken in the Board.

The Board had decided in November it would abide by the Supreme Court verdict of allowing women in the 10-50 age group to enter Sabarimala, according to him. Vasu further said now that the temple is already closed, seeking more time was not applicable. He added he would meet the Dewaswom president and explain to him the happenings at the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the issue took a political turn with the commissioner meeting CPM leaders at the AKG Centre on his return from Delhi.

Board members skip temple flag hoisting
Kottayam: Even as resentment is brewing among various Hindu organisations against the latest TDB move, its president and members allegedly skipped the ‘kodiyettu’ (flag hoisting) ceremony at Ettumanoor Mahadevar temple on Thursday, taking into account possible agitations. 

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