CPI(M) launches explanatory meetings on Sabarimala issue

Rattled by protests by opposition Congress, BJP and various organisations against the government's decision to implement the apex court verdict on Sabarimala, the ruling CPI(M) in Kerala launched explanatory meetings with participation of women.

The first of the meetings, to explain the government's stand on the issue and steps taken by it to implement the Supreme Court verdict, was inaugurated at Pandalam in Pathnamthitta district by CPI(M) central committee member PK Sreemathy, MP.

P. Sathi Devi, leader of the Janadhipatiya Mahila Association, said the state government has the duty to implement the top court verdict permitting women of all ages to worship at the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala.

Volunteers from Kudumbashree, a women's empowerment and poverty eradication programme, have also been roped in for the meetings being organised in different places for ensuring 'equal justice' to all women.

Meanwhile, Devaswom minister Kadakampally Surendran said government was with the believers and understood their sentiments.

"We will not allow anyone to unleash violence in the name of devotees," the minister said, adding the government will not go in for any confrontation.

As far as the government is concerned, it wants to provide all facilities to devotees visiting the shrine.

Last month, Rs 100 crore was sanctioned from Kerala Infrastructure Financial Fund Board (KIFFB) for providing more facilities at Sabarimala, he said.

Attacking the Congress and BJP, he said the two parties had changed their stance only with an eye on the Lok Sabha polls.

The BJP should take out a long march to Parliament in New Delhi and not to Thiruvananthapuram, he said.