After kicking up a row over his
statement that the Sabarimala head priest had consulted him
before threatening the closure of the Ayyappa shrine if women
of menstrual age entered it, the BJP's state unit chief P S
Sreedharan Pillai Saturday made a complete volte-face saying
someone else in the tantri's family had sought his views.
Pillai, who is on a 'Save Sabarimala Rath Yatra' from
Kasaragod to Erumeli along with Bharatiya Dharma Jana Seva
president Tushar Vallapally, told reporters here that what he
meant was that someone in the tantri's (head priest) family
had called him to seek clarification and not the tantri.
Since the head priest has clarified that he had not
called him up, there is no need to doubt it, Pillai said.
Television channels had aired a video clip last week
in which Pillai purportedly is heard saying at a yuva morcha
meeting that the head priest Kandararu Rajevaru had consulted
him before threatening to close the shrine in case women in
the 'barred' age group of 10-50 entered it to offer prayers.
When the controversy broke out, Pillai had said as a
sought a legal clarification, which he had given.
However, the tantri had denied having consulted
Pillaiand said he had only spoken to his senior tantri
The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which manages the
shrine, has sought an explanation from the head priest.
At the height of protests against entry of women of
menstrual age into the hill shrine, Rajeevaru had on October
19 threatened to shut the sanctum sanctorum if two young
women, then escorted by police, were allowed to reach the
'Sannidhanam' (temple complex).
Around 200 devotees tried to prevent a woman pilgrim
from entering the hill shrine, suspecting her to be of
menstrual age, and allegedly attacked a cameraman of a
Malayalam television news channel when the shrine was opened
for a two-day special ritual on November 6.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)