The Sabarimala temple is all set to open for the two-month-long pilgrim season on Saturday evening at 5 pm.
The Left government in Kerala on Friday indicated that it would not “take young women to the Sabarimala temple”. The CPM and the Left government cite the “grey areas” in the latest Supreme Court’s judgment to defend its stand. The apex court had put the review petitions on hold on and referred the matter to a larger bench. However, the court did not issue a stay on its earlier verdict, allowing women of all age groups to enter the temple.
According to legal experts, a ‘stay’ is implied in its latest order. Against this backdrop, the Left Government has decided to wait until the seven-bench of the apex court takes a final call. For centuries, women devotees in the age group of 10-50 years restrained themselves from visiting the temple.
In the wake of major electoral debacles caused by its earlier stand in the Sabarimala case, the CPM state secretariat decided on Friday that the entry of women activists should not be allowed to enter the temple in this season. The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which administers the temple, has also sought legal opinion on the recent verdict.
Taking a U-turn from the earlier stand of his party, CPM leader and Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran said on Friday that Sabarimala is not a place for activists to display their activism and the government would not encourage such women who want to visit the shrine for publicity. Those who want to visit the temple can procure a court order to enter the temple, he said.
Over 10,000 police personnel have been deployed in and around the temple ahead of the pilgrim season that begins from tomorrow.