Kerala CM calls all-party meeting on Sabarimala

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday called an all-party meeting on Thursday to discuss the upcoming Sabarimala pilgrimage season after the Supreme Court declined to stay its order allowing all women to pray at the temple.

He told the media here that the verdict was very clear and it had not stayed the September 28 verdict opening the temple to all women.

But the Chief Minister was evasive when asked if women in the hitherto banned age group of 10-50 would be allowed to pray in the wake of widespread protests by traditionalists and Hindu rightwing groups.

“We will speak to legal experts on the details of today’s judgement and then decide the future course of action,” said Vijayan.

Despite massive protests against the entry of all females into the temple, the Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to stay its earlier order.

A fresh two-month festival season at Sabarimala starts on November 16 when the authorities expect more protests.

CPI-M state Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the government would abide by the Supreme Court verdict.

State Congress Vice President K. Sudhakaran said they will protest strongly if women in the banned group come to the temple.

One of the parties to the review petition, the Nair Service Society, asked the government to see that the Sabarimala traditions were respected.