While both Lord Ayyappa devotees and BJP say they don't need money to save the age-old tradition, the ruling party CPI(M) denies it has issued any such advertisement. However, regional television channels are talking about the mischievous message that has travelled far and wide.
Thiruvananthapuram: A photo with a caption that says "This is to save Ayyappa devotees, who are arrested. We need money, so please contribute and donate funds to this bank account: 67319948232" has been going viral on social media. The bank account number mentioned in the image is of Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund(CMDRF).
"No one is collecting money for Ayyappa devotees who have been arrested, and this is fake news. Someone has issued such advertisements for their own benefit," said Rupesh, a BJP activist from Kerala.
"Why should someone use CMDRF account number for Ayyappa devotees? Is it LDF's strategy of drawing more money in the name of Ayyappa devotees?" A source in the BJP asked.
"Ayyappa devotees don't need a single penny from the CMDRF or from the government. As an Ayyappa devotee, I will be happy to be in jail for Lord Ayyappa. This is a plan of the LDF to make money that too in the name of Ayyappa through CMDRF," said Ajith Aravindhan, an Ayyappa devotee.
The LDF government is in complete denial.
"As I believe, our party members didn't make these images. We do not stoop to such lows," said Sangeeth Sreedhar, an SFI activist.
On Monday, several television channels covered the news of the message that no organisation is ready to own up.
While Vijayan-led government is already perceived to be atheistic, this photo is damaging its image further while the issue of women's entry in Sabarimala rages in Kerala, turning into a national debate of gender rights versus religious rights.
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Last Updated 21, Jan 2019, 1:53 PM