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Oppn leader asks LDF govt not to act like facilitator for entry of women into Ayyappa temple

Oppn leader asks LDF govt not to act like facilitator for entry of women into Ayyappa temple

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 14 (UNI) Leader of the Opposition in Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala on Thursday asked the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) Government not to act like a facilitator to bring women activists to Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala by interpreting the Supreme Court silence on its previous September 28, 2018 verdict allowing their entry.

Talking to newspersons at Assembly Media Room here, Mr Chennithala said the state government should ensure a trouble-free pilgrimage during the Mandalam-Makaravilakku Festival begining on November 17.

Kerala Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran said the Government welcomes the Apex Court verdict and urged the Opposition Congress party not to politicise the issue.

To a question on whether the Government will allow entry of women between the ages of 10 to 50 in the upcoming festival season, the Minister said 'it is too early to raise such a question as the Government is yet to study the Judgement'.

He also blamed the Opposition for trying to insult the Government on the Sabarimala issue by making irresponsible statements.

Former Chief Minister and AICC General Secretary Oommen Chandy, who welcomed the Top Court verdict, said the LDF Government should respect the religious sentiments of devotees.

Former Devaswom Board President and Congress leader Prayar Gopalakrishnan said the verdict was not final and hence the state Government should not create tension by bringing women activists to Sabarimala.

However, CPI-M leader and former Devaswom Board President N Rajagopalan Nair said the five bench verdict on September 28, 2018 was not stayed by the SC paving way for entry of women.

BJP leaders including former Mizoram governor Kummanam Rajasekharan and party state general secretary MT Ramesh urged the LDF Government to respect the SC decision to refer its earlier order allowing entry of women to a seven-judge bench.

UNI DS CS 1314

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