Staff Reporter

PATHANAMTHITTA: The Ayyappa Dharma Samrakshana Samiti (ADSS), an all-party movement in Pandalam, has "resolved to check the alleged attempt by the Travancore Devaswom Board to sideline the traditionally and historically accepted importance of the Pandalam Palace with regard to the customs and traditions of the Lord Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala.''

Addressing a press conference here on Monday, Samiti leaders M. Sukumara Pillai, Pandalam Sivankutty and P. Ramavarma Raja said they had submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister, Devaswom Minister and the Leader of the Opposition expressing deep concern over the "chaotic state of affairs'' with the Devaswom Board following the Devaprasnam which turned out to be a controversy.

They alleged that the entire controversy was stage-managed by certain vested interests attached to the Board with a `hidden agenda' to belittle the Pandalam Palace in connection with Sabarimala.

It was ironical that the Devaprasnam had suggested the Devaswom to make a new Thiruvabharanam and golden sword, contradictory to its finding that there were violations of customs and traditions in Sabarimala, they said. The Samiti leaders alleged that the very conduct of the Devaprasnam disregarding the technical objections raised against it by certain astrologers and the International Society for Vedic and Agamic Renaissance itself hinted at the hidden agenda of the Devaswom Board targeting the Tantri family and the Pandalam Palace.

They urged the Government to initiate appropriate action against the Board authorities for breach of oath taken while assuming charge that they would fully comply with the customs and traditions attached to various places of worship. They said that the Samiti would observe a day-long fast in Pandalam to press their demands on August 9.