In poll-bound Kerala, Devaswom minister Kadakampally Surendran today virtually expressed regret for the incidents that had rocked the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala in 2018 over the women entry issue and said it “should never have happened”, as the Congress and BJP sought an apology from the left government.
In the wake of the opposition UDF and BJP raising the Sabrimala women entry a campaign issue against LDF in the Assembly polls next month, senior CPIM Kerala leader and state Devaswom minister Kadakampally- Surendran on Thursday expressed regret over the incidents that took place in Sabarimala over the women entry issue.
Kadakampally, who is contesting the assembly polls from Kazhakkootam constituency in Thiruvananthapuram, has accepted that the government committed a mistake by allowing women to enter the Sabarimala shrine.He also vowed that the the final verdict of the Supreme Court would be implemented only after consultations with believers, political parties and the general public.“ The incidents that took place in Sabarimala in 2018 was something which had pained all of us.It should never have happened.It has pained everyone…it has pained me also,”
The statement of the senior CPI(M) leader, who is contesting the 6 April Assembly polls, has come at a time when the opposition Congress and BJP are sparing no efforts to rake up the Sabarimala issue to attack the Marxist government.While senior congress leader Ramesh Chennithala felt the statement was to “deceive” the devotees, BJP State president K Surendran said the minister was shedding crocodile tears and would not be forgiven for the cruelty and injustice shown to Sabarimala, even if he takes a dip in the holy River Ganga a thousand times.
Kerala had witnessed high drama during the nearly threemonth long annual pilgrimage season in 2018 with around a dozen women in the 10-50 age group being prevented from entering the Sabarimala temple by protesting devotees after the apex court permitted women of all age groups into the hill shrine.
The LDF, particularly CPI(M), had drawn flak from several quarters over the women’s entry issue for its alleged hastiness in implementing the Supreme Court order.