Communist Party of India (Marxist) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan has termed ‘unconstitutional’ and ‘anti-women’ the Devaswom ordinance approved by the Cabinet the other day.

Mr. Vijayan told a news conference here on Wednesday that the three key provisions of the ordinance were retrograde and would trigger large-scale corruption. The key provision that MLAs who wish to cast votes in the election of the Scheduled Caste member of the Devaswom boards should declare in writing clearly violated Article 188 of the Constitution. Further, five-member bench of the Kerala High Court had categorically stated that any such declaration was not necessary in such situations, Mr. Vijayan said.

The CPI(M) State secretary said the decision to do away with the provision in the original Act giving representation to women in the Devaswom boards was also unacceptable as it would take away a right for women that the last Left Democratic Front (LDF) government had built into the laws. The decision to create a separate board to carry out recruitment of staff for the Devaswom boards was meant only to facilitate corruption.

CPI too flays it

The Communist Party of India (CPI) State council has urged the government to repeal the Ordinance to amend the Travancore Cochin Hindu Religious Institutions Act. The council in a statement said the Ordinance was aimed at wresting the board administration.