Pinarayi rules out review plea over Sabarimala verdict

Pinarayi rules out review plea over Sabarimala verdict

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.( PTI File Photo)

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the state government would ensure all amenities to woman pilgrims at Sabarimala in compliance with the apex court order.

This comes a day after Hindu outfits launched protests against the Supreme Court judgment allowing women of all ages to enter the Ayyappa Temple in Sabarimala.

Vijayan also confirmed that the government would not file a review petition against the judgment.

Speaking to reporters in Thiruvananthapuram, the chief minister said that the Supreme Court had examined all aspects regarding the entry of women aged between 10 and 50 years before pronouncing its verdict and the government was bound to implement the order.

A Padmakumar, president of the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) which manages administration of the temple, had initially said the board would consider a review plea but later, retracted the statement.

“The board has not decided on filing a review petition. The board president’s statement could’ve been based on his personal views,” the Vijayan said.

Later in the day, briefing reporters about decisions taken at a TDB meeting, Padmakumar said that the board would not proceed with a review petition.

He said that the plans to ensure amenities for woman pilgrims at Sabarimala, Pampa and Nilakkal were firmed up during the meeting.

The annual pilgrimage season at Sabarimala commences in mid-November.

Vijayan said that woman police personnel, including those from other states, would be brought in for crowd management at the hill shrine.

With the chief minister dismissing the possibility of a review plea and the Congress and the BJP set to back a status quo on ritualistic traditions in the temple, the issue is morphing into a political face-off.

Congress’ state chief Mullappally Ramachandran backed a review petition on the matter while the BJP is preparing for an agitation to “protect” interests of the faithful.

On Tuesday, devotees and members of Hindu outfits, including hundreds of women, staged a protest in Pandalam, in a show of dissent against the judgment.

Protests were also held in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi.

Meetings by devotee groups continued on Wednesday; on social media, the court judgment has set off an intense discussions, most of them invariably drifting to its political import.