As Pandalam witnessed protests from thousands of Hindu devotees opposing women’s entry in Sabarimala, the Congress party in Kerala is learnt to be holding discussions to consider filing a review petition before the Supreme Court. Senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala is also set to take part in the ‘upavasa’ or fast organised by the Pathanamthitta DCC tomorrow.
A high level meeting comprising of former Devaswom Board presidents and former members of Travancore, Guruvayur, Kochi Devaswom boards is scheduled today in Thiruvananthapuram to decide on the finer details of the review petition.
Ramesh Chennithala, also the Leader of Opposition in the state legislative assembly, is expected to attend the high level meeting along with Mullappally Ramachandran, president of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee. The discussions will revolve around the future course of action on the Supreme Court verdict permitting women’s entry to the temple.
In his Facebook post, Ramesh Chennithala states, “Centuries-old practices and rituals that are followed at Sabarimala temple must be protected. Visited the Pandalam palace and met Sri Sasikumar Varma today and reassured him that Congress and UDF stand united and committed to the people on the Sabarimala issue. #SaveSabarimala.”
“The Devaswom board has failed in its duty to do carry out its functions correctly and the state government is in a rush to implement measures without considering the option of bringing an ordinance. The duty of the Devaswom Board is to protect the interests and well being of the devotees, not that of Pinarayi Vijayan” Ramesh Chennithala stated during his visit to the Pandalam royal palace.
Organisations such as Ayyappa Dharma Samrakshana Sena, Nair Service Society, People for Dharma and those devotees associated with the Ready to Wait movement are actively participating in the peaceful protests at Pandalam and chanting prayers of Lord Ayyappa. For those who are wondering how the Pandalam temple is now in the picture, it is connected to Sabarimala temple because Lord Ayyappa’s ornaments or ‘thiruvabharanam’ placed on the image of the deity are carefully kept at the Pandalam temple.
On October 3, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan stated that the state government would respect the apex court verdict as it is the law of the land and all measures will be taken to ensure the well being of women devotees who visit Sabarimala. Women police personnel are going to be deployed in the temple premises and in case of a shortage, they will be brought in from other states too. Pinarayi Vijayan added that the state government cannot go against the verdict of the Supreme Court.