'No' to Tirupati model darshan in Sabarimala

'No' to Tirupati model darshan in Sabarimala

'No' to Tirupati model darshan in Sabarimala

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s suggestion for  a  ‘Tirupati model’ darshan at the Lord Ayyappa Temple in Sabarimala has been opposed by the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB).

Vijayan’s suggestion, made as part of efforts to end the ‘VIP culture’ at the Sabarimala temple, was on Thursday opposed by Prayar Gopalakrishnan, president of the TDB, which manages affairs of the temple, during a review meeting at Pampa.

“The VIP darshans should stop. Instead, fast-track passes for Rs 250 or super fast-track passes for Rs 1,000 could be issued,” Vijayan said.

Gopalakrishnan shot down the idea stating that Sabarimala would not be reduced to a temple where devotees are treated according to the money they spend there. The meeting, also attended by ministers and senior officials, was held to review preparations ahead of the mandalam season at the temple.

The TDB president also opposed the chief minister’s suggestion that the temple could be kept open all through the year by pointing out that it would be in conflict with existing rituals and traditions followed in the temple.

Later, speaking with DH, Gopalakrishnan said the board would oppose any move to “tamper with” temple traditions. “Special darshans for devotees who offer special poojas could, at least, be considered but we can’t allow these darshans based on the money devotees pay,” he said.

Vijayan hit back at the TDB president stating that the exchange of words reflected the politics of Gopalakrishnan, a Congress member and former MLA.

The BJP state unit has raised concerns over the differences between the CPM-led government and the TDB. “Devotees continue to face many issues in Sabarimala.

If the government and the board move in two directions, it won’t be in the interest of the devotees,” BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan said.

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