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Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan concluded an all-party meeting on the Sabarimala issue today, November 15, to discuss the upcoming Sabarimala pilgrimage season after the Supreme Court declined to stay its September 28 order allowing all women to pray at the temple.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress walked out of the meeting towards the end alleging that the government is trying to allow entry of women to the temple by force hurting the sentiments of devotees. The 1.45-hour long meeting ended in a stormy note with the BJP and the Congress alleging government acting with hidden agendas.
Opposition parties have said that the government is adamant on its stand and hence the problem cannot be resolved. They said that the government will have to take responsibility in case the law and order situation goes out of control due to a heavy crowd.
Leader of Opposition of Kerala Legislative Assembly and Congress MLA Ramesh Chennithala said that the meeting was not fruitful. "We have decided to walkout. The CM was not ready to listen to us," he said.
Chennithala added, "This government is playing to the tune of RSS-BJP. The government will be responsible for all the untoward incidents that will happen in the shrine."
BJP state chief PS Sreedharana Pillai termed the all-party meeting "a waste of time", adding that the CM is going to pay high price for his arrogance over the issue.
The Sabarimala shrine will open tomorrow evening for 64 days for the annual Mandala-Makaravilakku pilgrimage.
Kerala's Left Democratic Front (LDF) government now has to provide protection for 549 women who have registered for darshan online and facilitate their visit to the temple. But devotees, the head priest family, the Pandalam royals, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), along with other right-wing outfits, have resisted the entry of women into the temple on the grounds of violating rituals followed by the temple.
Coming out of the meeting, CM Vijayan said, "Both Congress and BJP have taken the same stand. We will implement the Supreme Court order. The government is with the devotees. We don't have an agenda. There is no politics in this issue."
He further said, "The opposition said that the state did not take a measured call, but we have made it clear that we have only followed the SC verdict and we have not challenged it. If the Supreme Court changes the verdict then we shall implement the new order."
CM Vijayan has also has invited the Pandalam royal family and the Thanthri family for a meeting at the CM's office in Thiruvananthapuram at 3:30 pm today.
Despite massive protests against the entry of all females into the temple, the Supreme Court on Wednesday, November 14, declined to stay its September 28 order.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked a lawyer, who was seeking stay on its Sabarimala verdict, to wait till January 22 when the Constitution bench will hear review petitions
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