Sabarimala temple will not be open for public for the monthly prayers, Kerala Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran said on Thursday. He said the decision was taken after a meeting the temple chief priest.
The BJP had earlier criticised the CPI(M)-led Kerala government for allowing temples under the state-funded Devaswom Board to open for devotees. Union Minister of State for External Affairs and senior BJP leader from Kerala V Muraleedharan had said the move raises suspicions. “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 had allowed reopening of places of worship, malls and restaurants from June 8 onwards across the country. While the Guruvayoor Lord Krishna temple in Kerala 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 had decided to defer the opening of temples till the end of this month.
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