Shashi Tharoor said the BJP had turned the sanctified Sabarimala shrine into a place for political battle
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor Friday asked the BJP and RSS not to "desecrate" the Sabarimala temple and termed as "utterly disgraceful" the recent violence at the hill shrine.
The Thiruvananthapuram MP also blamed the state government for acting in "haste" and not consulting the stakeholders before implementing the Supreme Court verdict, permitting women of all age groups to offer prayers at the Lord Ayyappa shrine.
"If you have seen the BJP's behaviour in terms of violence they have conducted in a goonish manner and intimidation of people in Sabarimala, has been utterly disgraceful. By reducing the sanctified shrine into a place for political battle, the state BJP chief openly gloats that this has been a golden opportunity for his party, which is utterly shameful," Tharoor said at the airport in Thiruvananthapuram.
He also said while respecting the wishes of believers, the rule of law and order must be maintained.
"We have to respect the wishes of believers and have to ensure the rule of law and order," he said, adding that extensive discussions should be held among the stakeholders rather than the "political drama" being carried out in Sabarimala.
"I plead to the RSS and BJP and the others, please do not desecrate the temple," Tharoor said.
He also said the attack on the Nair Service Society buildings and on police officers during the protests were unfortunate.
"I believe this is a very important issue, really raises very profound question about change about interface between tradition and modernity in our society in a changing World. It cannot be handled lightly," Mr Tharoor said.
On November 6, around 200 devotees tried to prevent a woman pilgrim from entering the hill shrine, suspecting her to be of menstrual age, and allegedly attacked a cameraman of a Malayalam television news channel.