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Amit Shah Pledges To Offer Prayers At Sabarimala Temple During Annual Pilgrim Season

Shah's wish to trek the hills comes days after Amit Shah extended full support to devotees who are protesting against the entry of all women into the shrine.

Amit Shah Pledges To Offer Prayers At Sabarimala Temple During Annual Pilgrim Season
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BJP president expressed his wish to offer prayers at the hill shrine in Sabarimala during the annual pilgrim season due in November.

"The BJP president has expressed desire to visit the Sabarimala temple. But no decision has been taken so far," a senior Kerala unit BJP leader told PTI in Thiruvananthapuram.

Shah's wish to trek the hills comes days after Amit Shah extended full support to devotees who are protesting against the entry of all women into the shrine.

BJP on Sunday also declared to carry out a 'Rath Yatra' in November to save the customs and traditions of Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala in Kerala.

In a scathing criticism of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for taking action against Sabarimala protesters, Shah last week claimed an "Emergency-like" situation was prevailing in the state and accused the government of "playing with fire".

If the state government does not stop hurting the devotees, BJP workers would be forced to bring it down, Shah said, drawing a strong reaction from Vijayan, who termed the BJP president's warning an "attack" on the Supreme Court, Constitution and the country's judicial system.

Over 3500 people were arrested and FIR was registered against many in connection to the protests against women attempting to enter Sabarimala temple earlier this month.

A large number of frenzied devotees staying put at the temple complex and base camps had prevented at least a dozen women of menstrual age from entering the temple when it opened for monthly pujas between October 17 and 22.

Protests were also held in several other parts of Kerala by the devotees, who included a large number of women, seeking to protect the tradition of the shrine whose deity, Lord Ayyappa, is celibate.

The BJP is apparently seeing the Sabarimala issue as an opportunity to widen its support base in the southern state.

The party has so far failed to make a strong presence in the bi-polar polity in the state, dominated by the LDF and the opposition Congress-headed United Democratic Front (UDF).

On September 28, a five-judge Constitution bench, headed by then chief justice Dipak Misra, lifted the ban on the entry of women of menstrual age into the shrine. The order instigated aggitation against women trying to enter the temple.


(With inputs from PTI)

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