Rajagopal clarified that, while these demonstrations were distinct from the one held at the shrine against the attempted violation of Lord Ayyappa's tradition in Sabarimala, this protest for better amenities would add to the BJP's pressure on the LDF government in Kerala
Thiruvananthapuram: O Rajagopal, the lone BJP MLA said that the protest at the Sabarimala camps was not over women’s entry into the temple, but over the lack of basic amenities available at the camps for pilgrims. He also added that the protest was against the high handedness shown by the police.
The former union minister said to a TV channel, "The protests at Sabarimala were not over the women’s entry issue.” He added, “The agitation in front of the secretariat is BJP’s political protest. Shifting to the secretariat was part of intensifying the protest and not compromising.” The Congress party called the move as a compromise between the ruling party LDF and BJP.
PS Sreedharan Pillai, the state minister of BJP, had earlier said that they were terminating the protest at the temple and moving it in front of the secretariat. He too had expressed the concern over the facilities set up at the temple by the current state government CPI(M)-led LDF.
The criticism by Congress was also refuted by BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member MP V Muraleedharan. He stated that no BJP leader or worker would compromise with the CPI(M).
Prior to this, Pillai had faced criticisms from his party for the lack of enthusiasm during the protest against the arrest of K Surendran, BJP general secretary, Kerala, from Nilakkal.
Surendran was denied bail on the case of attacking a 52-year-old woman during the Chithira Atta festival. The shrine has been under heavy security since November 17 and prohibitory orders have been extended by the Pathanamthitta district administration.
The Supreme Court will review petitions in January on its order allowing women of all ages to enter Sabrimala, which was delivered on September 28.
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Last Updated Dec 1, 2018, 4:47 PM IST