Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on October 23, in a press meet, issued a controversial statement that he could not agree with the thantri's decision of closing the Sabarimala temple. Vijayan also remarked that only the Travancore Devaswom Board had the right to decide on closing and opening of the temple.

On October 24, Pandalam Palace representative Shashi Kumar Varma reacted to the chief minister's statement. He expressed his resentment over Vijayan's remark against the thantri

Today, Pandalam Palace representative Shashi Kumar Varma held a press meet and slammed Pinarayi Vijayan's statement. The Pandalam family said the announcement that Vijayan made, claiming the Devaswom Board is the owner of Sabarimala temple, is wrong. 

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The chief minister said that the covenant transferred the administration of the temples and its funds and properties to an independent body called the Devaswom Board. Pandalam family said, as per the covenant, Pandalam family can exercise rights over Sabarimala.

The Pandalam family also said the relationship with the Sabarimala temple for the palace does not change every five years. They further said they are not interested in the revenue that Sabarimala received. All they look at is the wages needed for the person who take cares of the statue, they said. The royal family also stressed the fact that Vijayan's attempts to separate the devotees in the name of caste, has turned futile.

Varma alleged that some people were after the revenue earned by Sabarimala and media must find out who they are. Six women, who tried to enter the temple, came with the purpose of insulting the true devotees, said Varma.

History suggests Pandlam is right 

The Pandalam dynasty has (or had) a locus standi in the Sabarimala issue. The forest around the shrine of Lord Ayyappa was once a part of the dynasty’s kingdom. In 969 AD, the ruler of Pandalam paid a part of the income from Sabarimala temple to pay instalments to the Travancore king who had subjugated Pandalam (rather than defeating it) in 925 AD.
A truce was reached between Travancore and Pandalam in 995 AD, according to which the Pandalam king assured Travancore that they would support the latter if allowed to collect the revenues from the Sabarimala shrine. On this agreement, the two kingdoms merged.