On the second day of the Sabarimala Samrakshana Ratha Yatra organised by the BJP-led NDA, with the stated intention of protecting traditions at Sabarimala temple, the saffron party attacked the ruling CPI(M) for “trying to appropriate” the legacy of the Kerala renaissance movement leaders.
"(Chief Minister) Pinarayi Vijayan is now praising Kelappaji (Congress leader who spearheaded Guruvayur temple entry)," said BJP general secretary M.T. Ramesh.
- Sabarimala: SC to hear review pleas on Jan 22; no stay on verdict
- Will Sabarimala rath yatra help BJP gain electoral ground in Kerala?
- BJP to intensify Sabarimala agitation, to begin rath yatra tomorrow
- Pinarayi is modern day Tipu: BJP kicks off Sabarimala Rath Yatra
- Fresh pleas on Sabarimala will be heard after review petitions decided: SC
"He has to remember that the undivided communist party tried to kill him. They insulted Kelappaji throughout. The chief minister now speaks of Sree Narayana Guru. What was your attitude towards him then? The only person who did not call him Gurudevan was EMS. Didn't CPI(M) call Gurudevan 'Cement Nanu'?," Ramesh asked.
Said BDJS state president Thushar Vellappally, "The communists will first try to destroy Hindu traditions, then Christian and Islamic. They will destroy every culture. Hindus are almost 60 per cent of Kerala population. The government should stand with people. Is it right to refute the belief of so many people? What do you (Vijayan) get by letting women into Sabarimala. The left and the right have divided people on the lines of caste. Since Modi was in power, there have been no instances of communal polarisation."
BJP state president P.S. Sreedharan Pillai said that it was partisan on the part of the state to charge a case against him for calling Sabarimala a 'golden opportunity', when the leaders of the left parties themselves did the same. "Let the case against me go as it is. I don't care," said Pillai.
He said that in the People's Democracy, the communist party's official publication, party leader S. Ramachandran Pillai had also written that Sabarimala was a golden opportunity. Pillai said he wouldn't use the word dharma yudham because it might result in another case against him.
In a landmark verdict on September 28, a five-member Constitution bench of the Supreme Court had lifted the ban on women in the age group of 10 and 50 from entering the hill shrine, sparking widespread protests across Kerala.