The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday launched yet another attack on the LDF over the Sabarimala issue. Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman alleged that Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran committed a sin by unleashing the police on devotees of Lord Ayyappa during the Sabarimala protests in 2018.
"The devotee who had gone to visit (darshan) the swami (god) was hit. This man (the Devaswom Minister), he cannot atone for this sin even if he does tapas (penance) for 500 years," Sitharaman said in a poll meeting held in a North Kerala constituency on the second last day of campaigning ahead of the state Assembly elections.
Her statement comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the Devaswom Minister as "one of the masterminds" to shower lathis on the devotees.
Reacting to Modi's allegation, Kadakampally Surendran said the Prime Minister made such a remark as he was misled by the state BJP leadership.
Modi had chanted "Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa" thrice at a poll rally held in Konni in Pathanamthitta on Friday.
The BJP has fielded its firebrand leader Sobha Surendran against Kadakampally Surendran, a senior CPI(M) leader, in Kazhakootam Assembly constituency in Thiruvananthapuram district.
(With inputs from PTI)