New Delhi: The 2019 election could have a way different flavour in the six southern Indian states as Lord Ayyappa devotees have decided that candidates who support them in safeguarding the traditions of the Sabarimala temple alone would get their votes.

“The Sabarimala Ayyappa Seva Samajam, a worldwide organisation of the devotees of Lord Ayyappa worldwide, has decided to present an 18-point charter of demands of devotees of Swami Ayyappa to all political parties, organisations and individuals who will contest in the forthcoming Lok Sabha election. We have declared that the vote of devotees would go to only such parties that openly supported the demands to save Sabarimala, protect temples and Hindu dharma and our motherland,” national secretary of the body Erode Rajan said.
The organisation has planned to conduct a state-level Ayyappa Sangamam across India during October and November this year.

Further, an All India Guruswamy Convention will be conducted in November on the banks of Pampa in Pathanamthitta district.
In yet another move, a convention of sannyasis, thanthris, major temple committee heads, state-level leaders of community organisations and other Hindu bodies from the six southern states has been planned in June 2019 under the patronage of the Shankaracharyas in order to discuss and chalk out plans to protect not only Sabarimala but all temples, temple traditions and rituals.
“It has been noticed that pilgrims from outside Kerala are brought to Sabarimala by tour operators in large numbers. This includes many women between the age group of 10 and 50. However, to ensure trouble-free entry to such women, the tour operators issue fake identity cards showing their age above 50. This was noticed on a number of occasions. When questioned, the women in all these cases reported that the id was prepared and issued by the tour operators. This is a serious issue and such fraud needs to be checked and prevented,” Rajan said.