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  India   All India  21 Nov 2018  Amit Shah attacks Kerala govt over handling of Sabarimala

Amit Shah attacks Kerala govt over handling of Sabarimala

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Nov 21, 2018, 12:58 am IST
Updated : Nov 21, 2018, 12:58 am IST

Gulag was a system of forced labour camps established during Joseph Stalin’s rule in the Soviet Union.

BJP president Amit Shah (Photo: PTI)
 BJP president Amit Shah (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: Slamming the Pinarayi Vijayan government’s handling of the situation in Sabarimala as “disappointing,” BJP president Amit Shah on Tuesday accused the Kerala government of treating pilgrims as “Gulag inmates” and making them spend nights next to “pig droppings.” Hitting back, the Kerala chief minister lashed out at the BJP and right-wing outfits, accusing them of exploiting the Sabarimala issue for their “political gains” and trying to ‘capture’ and take control of the Lord Ayyappa shrine.

Mr Vijayan alleged that the Sangh Parivar’s agenda was to create trouble by sending “kar sevaks” to take control of the temple and make the pilgrims the “scapegoats”.

 

Sangh parivar affiliate Vishwa Hindu Parishad said, Mr Vijayan’s behavior has become “like a ruthless dictator” and he has been “repeatedly torturing Hindus under the pretext of the Supreme Court decision.”

Earlier during the day, the BJP president, through tweets, asserted that his party stands firmly with every Ayyappa devotee who holds the Sabarimala tradition close to his heart and his party will not let the LDF “crush people’s faith with impunity”.

“If several reports of flushing resting places for devotees and them having to spend nights next to pig droppings and dustbin are true, then Mr Vijayan must realize that he can’t treat Ayyappa devotees like inmates of Gulag. We won’t let LDF crush people’s faith with impunity,” the BJP chief said.

 

Gulag was a system of forced labour camps established during Joseph Stalin’s rule in the Soviet Union.           

Mr Shah’s comments underlined his party’s support to devotees protesting against the state government’s move to implement a Supreme Court order lifting the bar on women of menstruating age from visiting the temple.

The Left Democratic Front (LDF) has accused the BJP of politicising the court order with the chief minister asserting that it is the job of a government to implement the apex court’s order.

Mr Shah said the way the way Pinarayi Vijayan’s government is handling the sensitive issue of Sabarimala is disappointing as the “Kerala police is treating young girls, mothers and aged inhumanly, forcing them to take the arduous pilgrimage, without even basic facilities like food, water, shelter and clean toilets”.

 

“If Pinarayi Vijayan thinks he can rise against people’s movement to preserve Sabarimala by arresting K Surendran, BJP’s Thrissur district president and six others, then he is mistaken,” Mr Shah said.

Addressing a press conference in Thiruvananthapuram, the Kerala chief minister  also defended the arrest of 69 people from the temple complex on Sunday night and slammed the Congress for opposing implementation of the Supreme Court order allowing women of all age groups to offer prayers at the hill-top shrine. He alleged the RSS and Congress “have become one” on the Sabarimala issue. Mr Vijayan asserted that Sabarimala would not be allowed to be transformed into a “centre of violence” and his government “will not compromise” with those perpetrating violence in the temple complex.

 

Targeting the main opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front, he said the Congress’ national leadership wanted the Supreme Court verdict to be implemented, but the state unit had a different take.

Defending the police action on Sunday night arresting 69 devotees from ‘Sannidhanam’ (the main temple complex), the Chief Minister said “conscious efforts” were made by some people to stay back there even after the customary closing song “Harivarasanam” and despite prohibitory orders.

“Most of them have not come to the temple through the normal route but preferred the forest path evading checking. Conscious efforts were made by some people to stay back at Sannidhanam even after ‘Harivarasanam’,” he said.

 

Tags: amit shah, kerala govt, sabarimala temple
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi