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Sabarimala opens tomorrow: Kerala CM says will abide by SC verdict, Opposition walks out of all-party meet

The meeting was called by CM Vijayan on Tuesday after the Supreme Court refused to stay its September 28 order and adjourned the hearing of review petitions to January 22, next year.

By: Express Web Desk |
Updated: February 11, 2019 11:52:47 am
Sabarimala opens tomorrow: Kerala CM says will abide by SC verdict, Opposition walks out of all-party meet
Sabarimala opens tomorrow: Kerala CM says will abide by SC verdict, Opposition walks out of all-party meet Protests against the SC verdict allowing women of all ages to enter into Sabarimala (File Photo)

Even as the Kerala government reiterated that it will abide by the Supreme Court order and not dilute its stand on the Sabarimala issue, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday proposed that certain arrangements can be made — like fixing of designated days — to let women of menstrual age enter the shrine. The suggestion, however, did not go down well with the Congress-led UDF and the BJP, who walked out of the all-party meeting called by the CM to discuss the issue.

The meeting comes two days after the Supreme Court decided to review its decision allowing women of all ages to enter the hilltop shrine. The SC, however, had iterated that it was not putting a stay on the decision and that women will be allowed to enter the temple when it opens tomorrow. The Congress and the BJP — the Opposition parties in the state — had welcomed the SC’s decision to hear review petitions. A total of 48 review petitions will be taken up by the apex court on January 22.

Calling the meeting “a drama”, Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said the government was not ready for a compromise and remained stubborn on its stance. Addressing a press conference after the meeting, Kerala CM Vijayan mocked Chennithala, saying he “walked out” after the meeting was over.

“The all-party meeting got over and he walked out, how can you walk out if the meeting already got over,” he said.

Vijayan reiterated the government’s stance that the state has no option but to implement the Supreme Court ruling. “As a law-abiding state, the government has no other options but to implement the existing Supreme Court ruling. We don’t intend to dilute the ruling, we don’t want violence at Sabarimala either.”


Read this story in Malayalam

Also read | Not scared for my life, this is a fight for equality: Trupti Desai ahead of Sabarimala visit

Hindu outfits, the Congress and the BJP have opposed the verdict, calling to retain the ban on entry of women aged 10-50 in the temple. The temple was opened twice after the verdict, but no woman was able to enter the shrine as protesters blocked their entry and the head priest even threatened to lock the door of the shrine. Attack on journalists and media crew were also reported, even as security personnel armed with headgear were sent to ensure the implementation of the court’s judgment.

Women of menstrual age were barred from entering the Sabarimala shrine as the presiding deity Lord Ayyapa is considered a celibate. The Supreme Court had overturned the ban in a 4-1 verdict, triggering protests by Hindu groups who refused to abide by the ruling.

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