Setback for Kerala government’s bid to end Sabarimala row

A file photo of devotees waiting outside the Sabarimala temple.

Tantri family, Pandalam palace back out of talks scheduled for Monday

The Kerala government’s attempt to find an amicable solution to the raging row in the State over the Supreme Court verdict permitting women of all ages to offer worship at the Sabarimala temple has suffered a setback.

The Tantri (chief priest) family, which guides the customs and rituals at the Ayyappa temple, and the Pandalam palace that is closely linked to the legend of the Sabarimala deity, have rejected Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s attempts to reach out to them.

Had things worked as planned, representatives of the Tantri family and the Pandalam palace would have met the Chief Minister in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday. But that is not to be, as the Tantri family and the palace have decided not to travel to the State capital for the meeting till the government decides in favour of filing a review petition on the Supreme Court verdict.

The two families decided not to have any dialogue with the Chief Minister after consultations with the Nair Service Society (NSS) general secretary G. Sukumaran Nair at Changanassery on October 6.

Sources in the Tantri family and the palace said Mr. Nair had advised them not to go for the talks unless the government allows the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which was a party before the Supreme Court, to file a review petition in the apex court.

The executive committee of the Pandalam palace is meeting at Pandalam on October 7 evening to discuss the latest developments. There has been no formal response from the government on the development.

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