Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government recently decided that 1,680 CPI(M) workers will be appointed at Sabarimala during the pilgrimage season in November, in the aftermath of the Supreme Court verdict allowing women of all ages to enter the shrine. 

Now, BJP has come up with a new method of resisting the Kerala government’s move during Mandala-Makaravilakku pilgrimage season in Sabarimala. BJP has decided to field 1,000 elderly women at Sannidhanam every day to block the young women trying to enter the Ayyappa temple. 

These 1,000 women will carry Irumudikkettu (offering to the deity) to mark their protest instead of men. The women will keep chanting Ayyappa mantras at the Sannidhanam on the days when the temple is open during Mandala-Makaravilakku season. 

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The shrine will open on November 16 at 5 PM for Mandala season. It will close on December 27 after Mandal puja and will reopen again on December 30. The shrine will again close on January 20 after Makaravilakku. It will soon be decided from which areas women should arrive at the temple on those days.

Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had earlier said that devotees would not be allowed to stay at Sannidhanam after the shrine opens and the protesters would not be allowed to camp at Sabarimala. Police have recommended not to let anyone to stay in Sabarimala for more than 24 hours. 

The police had earlier taken strict action against men, who protested in the temple and surroundings. But they are likely to spare the women, say other protesters. So, the BJP is planning to keep women in the forefront while protesting. "BJP claims that the elderly women will convince the young women about the situation and send them back," said Rupesh, a BJP worker.