Tantri should have quit if verdict unacceptable: CM

Says act of closing the temple a violation of court order

Updated - February 06, 2019 05:34 pm IST

Published - January 03, 2019 08:33 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that Sabarimala head priest (Tantri) Kandararu Rajeevaru should have quit if he was not ready to accept the Supreme Court verdict that allowed entry of women of all age groups into the Ayyappa temple.

Mr. Vijayan’s comments came a day after the Tantri closed the temple and performed purification rituals after two women offered prayers at the hill shrine on Wednesday early morning.

Speaking to reporters after a Cabinet meeting here on Thursday, he said the Tantri and the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) were parties to the case settled by the Supreme Court and were bound to abide by the verdict. The Tantri was free to profess his opinion and reservations about the verdict, but he was bound to implement it. A decision to close the temple could be taken only by the TDB.By closing the sanctum sanctorum after the entry of women, he had violated the Supreme Court order and the TDB manual, Mr. Vijayan said.

However, Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala threw in his lot with the Tantri. Mr. Chennithala told reporters that the Chief Minister had no business to interfere in matters of faith. The Tantri was the final arbitrator in religious rituals at Sabarimala.

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