TDB with Kerala govt on Sabarimala women's entry issue: Padmakumar

 

A day after a row erupted over its stand on entry of young women at the Sabarimala temple, Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) President A. Padmakumar said it stood with the Kerala government and denied that he had any plans to quit.

The TDB chief also dismissed reports that he had sought an explanation from Devaswom Commissioner N. Vasu for reversing the board's stand over the September 28 Supreme Court verdict, allowing women of all ages into the Ayyappa shrine.

Padmakumar said the TDB stands by the government which protects Sabarimala, other temples and the Board.

"It's not possible for the Devaswom Board and its employees to stand by those who urge devotees not to donate funds in temple hundies under the board, thus destroying it.

"The LDF government has allotted Rs 100 crore for the Sabarimala temple in the budget to make up for the losses during the recent floods and protests," he said.

Padmakumar's response on the women's entry issue on Friday is significant as he had earlier opposed the entry of women of menstruating age into the Ayyappa shrine, a stand different from that of the CPI(M)-led LDF government and other board members.

The board chief also stated that he had not asked for any explanation from the Devaswom Commissioner and had merely said that he was 'waiting for the report'.

Padmakumar also said he would not resign and would continue as TDB chief till the end of his tenure in November.

"My words (on the Devaswom Commissioner) have been misinterpreted by the media," TDB president said.

A row erupted in Kerala when in a U-turn on Wednesday, the board, which manages the Ayyappa shrine,supported the apex court's order, joining the Kerala government to oppose a batch of pleas seeking review of the Supreme Court verdict.

(with news agency inputs)