BJP to shift Sabarimala stir to Thiruvananthapuram

Vastavam web: The BJP, which has been spearheading the agitation against the entry of young women at Sabarimala, Thursday announced its decision to shift its protest from the temple complex to the state capital to intensify its stir. The announcement comes two days after the Kerala High Court ordered that no protests or demonstrations should be held at Sabarimala, holding that it was not a place for such activities.

Reacting to the saffron party’s move, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the decision to “stop” the protest in Sabarimala was because the BJP had got an inkling of the secular minds of the people in the state. BJP state president P S Sreedharan Pillai said its leaders would launch an indefinite hunger strike before the Secretariat, to press various demands, including the lifting of prohibitory orders and providing basic amenities to pilgrims in and around the Lord Ayyappa temple. The saffron party also wanted the scrapping of alleged ‘fake’ cases against its state general secretary K Surendran, who is now behind the bars after being arrested en route to Sabarimala earlier this month.

Rejecting reports that BJPwas ending its Sabarimala agitation, he said, “The party will launch indefinite hunger strike before the Secretariat from December 3.” At present, we are planning a 15-day-stir, he said adding that the party would decide on further course of the agitation after taking into consideration the CPI(M)-led LDF government’s stand on their demands.

Besides this, the party has also plans to start a state-wide signature campaign to collect one crore signatures demanding protection of rituals and traditions of the shrine. However, the Chief Minister rejected BJP’s claim that his office had masterminded the cases against Surendran. “My office already has enough files to take care of other than that of Surendran’s.. its not my office’s duty,” he said. Meanwhile, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Mullappally Ramachandran alleged that the BJP’s decision to shift their agitation here was part of the “adjustment” between the saffron party and the Chief Minister.