The Supreme Court ruled on Friday that women of all ages could enter the Sabarimala temple.

Kerala CM urges Devaswom Board to implement SC Sabarimala verdict without delaySreekesh Raveendran Nair
news Sabarimala Verdict Monday, October 01, 2018 - 10:47

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday told Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) to implement the Supreme Court’s verdict allowing women entry inside the Sabarimala temple soon. “No delay is permissible,” he told officials of TDB at a meeting in Thiruvananthapuram. However, TDB, which manages the shrine’s affairs, has sought some more time to put the directive into effect.

According to Manorama Online, TDB officials have sought more time to improve the facilities at the temple for woman devotees. TDB president A Padmakumar said the board is expecting a 40% increase in pilgrim traffic once women devotees arrive at the Ayyappa temple. “We asked for 100 acres of land for expansion of facilities. The Chief Minister has promised land at Nilakkal,” he said.  

Incidentally, the annual pilgrimage season is set to commence mid-November.

TDB said it will arrange toilets and shelters for women devotees at Sabarimala and Nilakkal. Padmakumar added that there are practical challenges in setting up separate queues for women at the temple.

Padmakumar, however, also upheld his objections to the Sabarimala verdict, which was announced on Friday. Expressing his misgivings if women enter the shrine, he said that TDB will decide on the future course of action and that a review petition is still under consideration.

The Pandalam royal family will approach the Union government seeking a legislation to override the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Meanwhile, Ramesh Chennithala, the leader of Opposition, said the Devaswom Board should file a petition against the Supreme Court verdict.

In a social media post, he says, “The Supreme Court should also examine the social impact and the difficulties in applying these rules. The UDF government's stand was to respect the beliefs and practices of Sabarimala, and to resume the restriction of women in Sabarimala. On February 5, 2016, the UDF government filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court. However, the present LDF government has filed an affidavit to make it mandatory for all women to be given entry. When the Left government adopted this stand in the Supreme Court, the Devaswom board, which is under the control of the Left Front, maintained the view that it is necessary to control women entrance. The double standards of the Left Party have affected the case and led to such a verdict.”

He added, “The violation will hurt a large number of people. The Devaswom Board should, therefore, issue a re-examination petition as soon as possible.”

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