Sabarimala: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Thursday met Governor P Sathasivam and briefed him about the issues relating to the Lord Ayyappa temple here.

The meeting, which lasted for half-an-hour, assumes significance in the wake of protests launched by main Opposition Congress-led UDF and the BJP over restrictions and prohibitory orders in the temple complex, after it opened for the two-month-long annual pilgrim season on November 16.

A delegation of the United Democratic Front (UDF), comprising Congress leaders Ramesh Chennithala and Oommen Chandy, had defied the prohibitory orders Tuesday at the base camps at Pamba and Nilackal.

BJP state General Secretary K Surendran along with two others had also tried to proceed to the Lord Ayyappa Temple from Nilackal, despite being advised by police personnel against visiting Sabarimala due to law and order issues.

They were arrested on November 18. The Governor in a series of tweets said he had invited Vijayan for a discussion on various issues related to Sabarimala.
"On receipt of petitions from various leaders and the general public, I invited Chief Minister Shri Pinarayi Vijayan to Kerala Raj Bhavan for a discussion on the issues related to Sabarimala." 

Sathasivam said, during the meeting, he discussed with Vijayan measures to address complaints on lack of basic amenities like drinking water, toilets and rest rooms at Nilackal, the base camp, and at Pampa en route to Sanidhanam.

The grievances raised by Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan, who visited the shrine Wednesday, on the need to improve transport facility between Nilackal and Pamba also figured in the meeting.

"I highlighted the grievance expressed by Shri. Pon Radhakrishnan, @PonnaarrBJP Hon. Minister of State for Finance & Shipping. Need to improve transport facility between Nilackal & Pampa also was discussed in meeting with Chief Minister," he said.

Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala had Wednesday given a memorandum to the Governor seeking his immediate intervention to withdraw the prohibitory orders in Sabarimala and nearby areas and restore peace.

The Sabarimala Karma Samiti, which is also agitating against the restrictions imposed by the state government at Sabarimala, had also met the Governor at Kottayam two days ago to apprise him of the difficulties caused to the devotees.

Restrictions have been imposed following protests by devotees and activists of the BJP and the RSS over the Kerala government's decision to implement a Supreme Court order allowing the entry of women of all ages into the hill shrine.

The temple at Sabarimala was opened on November 16 for the over two-month-long pilgrimage season amidst tension.