BJP’s long march ends with resolve to continue campaign against Sabarimala verdict

LDF plans campaign highlighting constitutional responsibility to implement Supreme Court ruling.

A long march taken out by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance from Pandalam, opposing the Supreme Court verdict allowing entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala hill shrine, concluded here on Monday.

Though the BJP leaders have been reiterating that the party would not resort to violence to push its demand, any bid by Sangh Parivar organisations to stop women pilgrims from entering the shrine on Thursday could lead to a showdown. Also the issue would come in handy for the BJP as well as the Congress-led United Democratic Front to lash the Left Democratic Front government.

The BJP leaders plan to meet soon to discuss the future course of action, which means the party would like to keep the issue alive till the Lok Sabha election due early next year.

The government has clarified that it would offer protection to all pilgrims, including women and also that it is committed to protecting the ritualistic tradition of Sabarimala and other places of worship.

NDA leaders leading the long march in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday on the Sabarimala issue.


The ruling LDF government is embarking on a campaign of its own from Tuesday.

Public meetings are to be held, with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and other leaders participating. The campaign will highlight the government’s constitutional responsibility to implement the verdict and explain the proposal it has submitted to the Supreme Court to constitute a panel comprising experts in rituals and eminent citizens to study the issue before taking a call.

The government also plans to expose the ‘contradictory positions’ adopted by the national leaders of the BJP and the RSS on the issue. It is confident of mobilising public opinion to match or even outdo the protests launched by the NDA and the UDF.

Clearing the post flood debris in Pamba and its precincts itself was a tough ordeal for the temple board. Caught in the row, it could not mobilise all its resources to put in place infrastructure facilities for debutante pilgrims as planned earlier. But it would do its best to provide all facilities to the pilgrims, sources said.

The Pandalam Palace as well as the Ayyappa Seva Sanghom and such others who focus on the service of the pilgrims have reiterated that they would not foment trouble. But women from different parts of the State collectively and individually have expressed their resolve to have `darshan’ and if the Sangh Parivar organisations decide to block them at Nilakkal, the base camp, it would lead to a commotion.

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