A video that was leaked just before the doors of the shrine was opened, where the BJP Kerala unit President, Sreedharan Pillai was purportedly heard telling party cadre that the Sabarimala Thantri (Chief Priest) called him, literally perturbed about contempt of court, if he closed down the doors of the shrine to block women, according to NDTV report.
Apparently, the BJP leader has been caught on camera allegedly boasting about the Sabarimala Temple protest and how a priest consulted him on keeping women below 50 years of age out of the shrine, even if that it meant defying the Supreme Court verdict, noted the report. The video, according to the report, surfaced when the temple doors were about to be opened this morning, under full security that included thousands of commandos and several women cops aged above 50 years. The video, which was leaked to the media, Pillai is heard stating that he reassured the head priest that, in the even of the SC slapping a contempt of court case, the Thantri will not be alone, as thousands of people will be with him.
In the video, Pillai purportedly said, “I told him you are not alone. This won’t be contempt of court. If there is contempt of court case registered, then it will be against us first. There will be tens of thousands of people with you. When I told him that he won’t be alone, he said that that one word was enough for him. And he took a stern decision that day. It was that decision that put the State Government and the police on the back foot”, Pillai purportedly was heard telling his party cadre. Furthermore, Pillai appeared to have told, “Sabarimala issue is a golden opportunity for us.”
“It is “destiny” that he and the priest both are part of the contempt petition. This will only encourage his confidence in us. So, I was telling, this for us, is a strategy. So, after seeing how this develop, all of us will come on our side”, Pillai is seen telling in the video.
As per the channel report, Pillai did not deny the conversation, nevertheless the Thanthri maintained that he never had a discussion like this with anyone but his family. “So what? I am a lawyer, he had taken legal opinion from me. Many CPM Ministers have taken opinion from me”, Pillai was quoted as saying by the report telling the news agency, ANI.
It might be recalled that in September this year, the SC had ended Sabarimala’s restriction on women of menstural age between ten and 50 years. Subsequently, many devotees resisted the SC verdict, terming it as an insult to the temple’s celibate deity (Naisthika Brahmachari), Lord Ayyappa. More than a dozen women had attempted to enter the temple were apparently blocked by the protesters. In fact, two women reached up to the main entrance of the shrine were later forced to go back as the Tantri, Kandararu Rajeevaru, threatened to shut the shrine down. What is more, the BJP had openly supported the protesters and it may also be recalled, the party President, Amit Shah, when he landed at the Kannur International Airport, had publicly declared support for those arrested for violence, the report said and added that with reference to the purported video, Kerala Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan called it proof that the BJP leaders plotted trouble in Sabarimala.
The CM Tweeted: “The odious politics and perfidious ways of BJP stand exposed. Evidence has surfaced that BJP leaders in the State connived to create trouble in Sabarimala. It must be noted that their State President himself was involved in the ruse. This is highly condemnable.”