BJP team visits Sabarimala today; will report to Amit Shah in 15 days
A four-member BJP team handpicked by party chief Amit Shah will visit Kerala on Sunday, to meet party workers in connection with the Sabarimala row. In Kochi they will meet the devotees and party workers today, to get a "firsthand account" of what the BJP called "atrocities being committed against the satyagrahis".
The four members comprising Saroj Pandey, Vinod Sonkar, Pralhad Joshi and Nalin Kumar Kateel will submit their report to Amit Shah within 15 days, the party said in a statement.
The team also plans to meet the Pandalam royal family, which traditionally is said to have a strong bond with Lord Ayyappa.
A large number of BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) workers protested outside the residence of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan last week against the detention of over 30 people at Sabarimala Temple. Protests were also held at various places across the state in Aranmula, Kochi, Kollam, Alapuzha, Ranni, Thodupuzha, Kaladi, Malappuram and Idukki.
Taking a firm stand, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday said that Sabarimala "won't be allowed to become an Ayodhya." As the Kerala Assembly session started, legislators from the Congress-led opposition came with placards and banners demanding that the prohibitory orders in the temple town be lifted. During the entire question hour, the opposition shouted slogans and within 20 minutes the session had to be adjourned.
"We are bound to adhere to the Supreme Court ruling even as the Sangh parivar with the support of the Congress is out to create trouble at Sabarimala," the Chief Minister said.
Mr Vijayan, in an attempt to garner support after the protests by right-wing groups over the entry of women of all ages to the Sabarimala shrine, said a "women wall" would be formed on January 1, from the northern district of Kasargode to the state capital, pledging support to the state government's stand. Thomas Isaac, the number two in the Kerala cabinet tweeted, "Great Wall of Kerala, to prevent the state from sliding back into medieval madness, is going to be raised by a million women from one end of Kerala to the other on New Years Day…Come join the Resistance…"
Great Wall of Kerala, to prevent the state from sliding back into medieval madness , going to be raised by a million women from one end of Kerala to other on New Year Day.That is around 600 km in length. Come, join the Resistance. It will be very very happy new year.
— Thomas Isaac (@drthomasisaac) December 2, 2018
"The hash tag of the 'women wall' would not be to turn Kerala into a lunatic asylum. At the meeting, organisations have pledged their support to the state government on the stand taken by us on the Sabarimala issue," said Mr Vijayan on Saturday, adding political parties can also send their women cadre.
No women in the menstruating age have been able to enter the Sabarimala shrine since the Supreme Court's September 28 order, The top court on November 13, three days before the temple opened this season, refused to stay the September verdict of allowing women of menstruating age enter the temple.