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Sabarimala: Pandalam royal family lashes out at Devaswom Board, LDF govt

The Travancore Devaswom Board, which is managing the affairs of Sabarimala, took a U-turn in the Supreme Court on Wednesday by supporting its 28 September verdict which had allowed women of all age groups to enter the shrine

Statesman News Service | Thiruvananthapuram |

The Pandalam royal family, which is famed for its kinship with Lord Ayyappa, the presiding deity at Sabarimala temple, came out against the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) saying the Board has proved that it is not with the devotees through the stand taken by it when the review pleas on women entry in Sabarimala was taken at the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its judgment on 65 petitions regarding the review of the Sabarimala verdict (55 review petitions, four writ petitions, two transfer petitions, two special leave petitions (SLP) and one petition seeking time).

The petitions were heard by a five-judge constitution bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi. Justices Rohinton Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra are part of the bench.

Coming down heavily on LDF government in the state and the TDB for supporting women entry in Sabarimala temple during the hearing of review petitions at the Supreme Court on Wednesday, the Pandalam royal family representative SasikumaraVarma said, “With its argument in SC, the TDB’s stand has become clear. Neither the government nor the TDB is on the side of the devotees,” he told media persons in Pandalam.

READ | Respect Sabarimala verdict, want SC order allowing women of all ages to stay: Dewasom Board

The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which is managing the affairs of Sabarimala took a U-turn in the Supreme Court on Wednesday by supporting its 28 September verdict which had allowed women of all age groups to enter the shrine.

Senior counsel Rakesh Dwivedi, who appeared for Devaswom Board, said that mankind will not exist without menstruation. There is equal rights for everyone. This is very important. All have the right to go to temple. All individuals have right to religion. Earlier, the TDB had taken a stand against the SC verdict and sought more time to implement the verdict.

The state government vehemently opposed in the Supreme Court the petitions seeking review of the verdict allowing the entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala shrine.

In this connection, the Travancore Devaswom Board President A Padmakumar said that the Board would accept the Supreme Court verdict on Sabarimala review petitions, whatever the verdict will be.

Meanwhile, BJP state general secretary K Surendran has alleged that the Travancore Devaswom Board was acting as if it was the feeder organisation of the CPI-M. The stand taken by the state government and the TDB showed their only goal was to destroy the holy shrine, he added.

Meanwhile, a team of devotees led by Pandalam royal family conducted a prayer meet in front of the Thiruvabharana Malika when the court considered the review pleas on Wednesday. Moolam Thirunal Raghava Varma Raja lit the traditional lamp. Pandalam Palace representative Sasikumara Varma, Narayana Varma and many others took part in the prayer meet.