BJP has criticised the CPI(M)-led Kerala government for allowing temples under it to open for devotees, saying “the dubious move would hurt the sentiments of the Hindu faithful.”
Union Minister of State for External Affairs and senior BJP leader from Kerala V Muraleedharan said it was a suspicious decision.
“Covid-19 cases are steadily going up in Kerala. When the state’s Covid-19 preventive model goes out of control, the attempt of the government is to dodge responsibility by leaving temples open… several temples outside the Devaswom Board have decided not to open. But you (Pinarayi Vijayan) are going ahead with the decision aimed at not the faithful but the money offered at the temples by devotees. This move would hurt the sentiments of the faithful,’’ he said.
There are around 3,000 temples in Kerala under the five devaswoms — temple affairs body controlled by the government.
BJP state president K Surendran said, “Why is the government so keen to open Hindu temples when mosques and churches are not opening now. Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran is foisting his greed on the devotees. The government decision on temples is against the faithful. Hindu religious heads were not consulted before opening temples, whereas the government has considered the opinion of Muslim and Christian leaders regarding opening of their places of worship,’’ he said.
The Union government has allowed reopening of places of worship, malls and restaurants from Monday onwards across the country. While the Guruvayoor Lord Krishna temple opened its doors to devotees, the Padmanabha Swamy temple in the state capital remained shut. Scores of other temples run by Sangh Parivar backed Kshetra Samrakshana Samathi and upper caste Hindu outfit Nair Service Society decided to defer the opening of temples till the end of this month.
Senior CPI (M) leader and Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran said the BJP is trying to create polarization as they had done in Sabarimala. “We had held discussions with religious heads and representatives of Hindu organisations. It is a pity that Union Minister Muraleedharan was not familiar with the Union Government decision,’’ he said.
Sabarimala Action Committee general convener SJR Kumar said the status quo should be maintained at temples until June 30.
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