The long march headed by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), protesting against the Supreme Court verdict that allows women of all ages into the Sabarimala shrine, concluded at the Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday. The massive rally started from Pandalam five days ago.
BJP General Secretary Muralidhar Rao inaugurated the protest. BJP state president PS Sreedharan Pillai, BJPâ€™s lone MLA in the state O Rajagopal, other leaders such as C Padmanabhan, PK Krishnadas and NDAâ€™s ally Bharath Dharma Jana Sena state president Thushar Vellappally, among others, took part in the meeting.
Hundreds of protesters marched through the southern districts of Alappuzha and Kollam. Sreedharan Pillai was the captain of the rally.
â€œThe Communists have never accepted religion, and hence they have been losing in state after state. When we ask the government to file a review petition, we are not asking for additional constitutional rights. Not filing the petition implies that the CM is not with the democracy," Muralidhar Rao said.
This march was the first phase of BJP's campaign against the Supreme Court judgement on September 28, which lifted the ban on women entry into Sabarimala.
In the second phase of the campaign, the BJP will convene a meeting of devotees in Pathanamthitta, when the party will take a pledge to support the devotees. He also warned that the protest will be intensified if the government does not take appropriate action in the issue.
Sreedharan Pillai warned that if the government wonâ€™t address the issue in 24 hours, the NDA will come out with a new mode of agitation. â€œThe CPI (M) had been trying to destroy Sabarimala for years. Now they are trying for it under the cover of the Supreme Court verdict. The BJP is with the devotees," he said.
The temple will be open for monthly pujas on October 17 evening.