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PTI thiruvai India
Updated: 10-11-2018 20:39 IST

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

lawyer practising in the Kerala High Court the priest had

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

Kandararu Mohanararu.

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.)