An all-party meet was convened by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sabarimala Temple issue ended in an impasse on November 15 . All the political parties involved could come to a consensus about the issue and both Congress and BJP staged a walkout.
The meeting's main intention was to discuss the protests, violence and the unrest that Supreme Court order had inadvertently brought upon the region. The Supreme Court ordered that everyone have the "right to pray" and that a temple cannot keep its doors closed for a group of people from worshipping just because they were women and they were between the ages 10 and 50.
This comes at a time when the temple is gearing up to open its doors to devotees for its two-month-long 'Mandala Makkaravillakku' pilgrimage season, starting November 17, reports Hindustan Times.
Right after the meeting ended, Vijayan said that his government is required to obey SC ruling. "Our job is to ensure law and order," he stated.
"The Supreme Court clearly says that the September 28 verdict stands. It means that the entry of women should be allowed. The government cannot take any stand against this verdict. We respect the feelings of the devotees. We are bound to implement the court verdict," he told the press.
He added that the Opposition accused Kerala of not taking a call on this subject. Vijayan, however, said that they have made it certain that they are only following SC verdict as opposed to challenging it. "If the SC changes the verdict, then we shall implement the new order. Our main objective is to provide security to devotees, we are committed towards ensuring that," he added.
As for the walkout that was staged by both the Congress and the BJP, Vijayan said, "I don't know what was the point behind it all." He added that since both parties were there until almost the end of the session, the walkout was reportedly a matter of confusion to him.
Ramesh Chennithala, Congress MLA and Opposition leader in Kerala state Assembly, said that the meeting called by the CM was not fruitful. He also accused the Kerala CM of not being ready to listen to them.
"It was a good opportunity to resolve the issue," he said. "However, the government is adamant. It is refusing to file review application [to the SC]. This is a game being played out by BJP-Left, the interest of Ayyappa devotees is not on their priority list. Limiting the number of devotees to 70,000 during the pilgrimage season is uncalled for," he said.
Chennithala went on to allege that Vijayan's government is pandering to the RSS-BJP. "The government will be responsible for all the untoward incidents that will happen at the shrine," he said, rather ominously.
On the other side, the BJP has also hit out at Vijayan. They are reportedly saying that the all-party meeting was staged by the CPI(M). "CM Vijayan should understand that India is not Stalin's Russia," said Sreedharan Pillai, BJP state president.