Pathanamthitta: In a blow to the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in Kerala, a party candidate was sent to jail by a court on Thursday in a case related to the alleged attack on woman devotees in Sabarimala temple in November last year.

Prakash Babu, the party's candidate in Kozhikode constituency, was remanded to 14-days judicial custody by a court in Ranni, Kerala.

Babu was accused of attacking the women, who had come to offer prayers at the Sabarimala temple in November amid protests against implementing the September 28 apex court verdict permitting women of all age groups into the shrine.

A case had been registered against him in this regard at the local police station.

The court refused to grant him bail and the leader was shifted to the Kottarakkara sub-jail, party sources said, adding that he would soon move the high court for bail.

Babu had already launched the campaign in the constituency, they added.

Kerala had witnessed widespread protests from frenzied devotees and the rightwing groups over the CPI(M)-led LDF government's decision to implement the apex court verdict allowing women of all ages to enter the Ayyappa temple.

Traditionally, women of menstruating age or in the age group of 10 to 50 years are not allowed to enter the temple as the deity, Lord Ayyappa, is believed to be in the form of ‘Naishtika Brahmachari’ (perennial celibate).

The Lok Sabha polls will be held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19 and Kerala will go to polls on April 23.