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Sabarimala Row: BJP, Congress Slam Kerala Govt Over 'Mismanagement', No Food And Water For Pilgrims

Kerala's Sabarimala Shrine, the Hindu temple famously devoted to Lord Ayyappan, has witnessed massive footfall this year, while pilgrims widely complained about the lack of basic amenities and safety measures expected to be in place for them.

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Devotees of Lord Ayyappa at the Sabarimala Temple to offer prayers
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Amid the ongoing controversy over the pilgrims experiencing lack of basic amenities and safety measures at Kerala's famous Sabarimala Shrine, Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai and senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday slammed the Kerala government over the pilgrims' inconvenience.

It has been reported that Annamalai also criticized Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin for not taking measures for the safety of the devotees from his state.

What did Annamalai say?

Taking to X, the state BJP chief alleged devotees visit Sabarimala every year but have not faced the kind of unpreparedness as this year.

"Devotees of Swami Iyyapa from TN and other parts of our country visit Sabarimala every year but haven't faced the kind of unpreparedness as this year. The Communist Kerala Government is caught napping and has pushed the devotees to extreme hardships with zero crowd management & has let the devotees to stand in queues for hours without food or water," Annamalai wrote on X.

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"The Communist Kerala Government should immediately ensure that basic amenities are ensured for the devotees, and the crowd is managed efficiently to ensure that they endure no further hardship," he added.

Moreover, Tagging Stalin's official handle, Annamalai wrote, "We wish to remind TN CM that most devotees stranded in the crowd belong to TN, and we request you to insist on your counterpart for their safety."

What did Tharoor say?

Taking to X, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor shared his experience of visiting Pamba, the last town before the ascent to Sabarimala where he interacted with a number of pilgrims "who were extremely unhappy with having been blocked by the authorities and confined in a place without water, food or access to toilet facilities."

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In a video shared in another X post, Tharoor could be seen talking to an "outraged" elderly woman.

"This lady Sabarimala pilgrim, an outraged senior citizen and devotee, left me in no doubt about all the discomforts she had endured and the shortcomings in the arrangements. Her views were echoed in multiple languages by pilgrims from Telangana, Andhra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu who approached me with their complaints," Thraoor wrote.

Kerala's Sabarimala Shrine, the Hindu temple famously devoted to Lord Ayyappan, has witnessed massive footfall this year, while pilgrims widely complained about the lack of basic amenities and safety measures expected to be in place for them.

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