Congress to bring legislation on women's entry in Sabarimala, releases draft

Congress to bring legislation on women's entry in Sabarimala, releases draft

Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress party in Kerala is planning to bring a legislation on women's entry to the famed Sabarimala temple that could prove to be a major political move by the UDF ahead of the Assembly polls as it seeks jail term for those breaking the century old tradition.

Senior Congress leader and former Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan has publicised a draft of the legislation to be brought by the party if it comes to power.

Addressing the media, Radhakrishnan said that according to the draft, those who violate the customs and traditions while entering into the Sabarimala temple, will face arrest and imprisonment for a period of two years.

The drafted legislation also give full powers to the "Tantri" or the Chief priest to take decisions on the customs and traditions of the temple.

In the 2019 General elections, the CPM-led LDF was trounced as the Congress-led UDF got 19 out of the 20 seats. This was attributed to the ire of the Hindu community against the CPM and Pinarayi Vijayan allowing women of the banned age-group to enter the hill shrine which is considered sacred as the deity Lord Ayyappa is considered a "Brahmachari".

Women of age group between 10 and 50 are not allowed to enter the hill shrine but a Supreme Court's verdict had allowed entry of women of all ages to the temple.

The opposition's UDF and the BJP had alleged that the affidavit produced by the LDF government before the top court had resulted in such a verdict.

The drafted legislation by the Congress though has sent shock waves across the CPM and the BJP.

CPM leaders said "This is only an election stunt as the Congress cannot bring up such a legislation. There are lot of bottlenecks involved in this. More than that the "Tantri" cannot be given such a power as the custodian of the temple is the Devaswom board (TDB)."

BJP state general secretary M T Ramesh while speaking to IANS said: "This is a farce. Congress is never serious about Sabarimala and when there were major agitations carried out in the state where was the Congress? Why didn't they announce this then? The Congress is trying to garner a few votes in the ensuing elections and people will see through this gimmick.

"The case has been referred to a seven member bench of the Supreme Court and why the Congress is now planning to bring up such a legislation".

Senior lawyer in Kerala High Court, Rajan Velloth told IANS: "The legislation will stand until the Supreme Court brings out a final judgment. The legislation brought by the Tamil Nadu government for the Jallikattu is a an example of this. The Congress strategy will pay off it seems."

(With IANS inputs)

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.