Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 10: Kerala BJP on Wednesday launched massive protest including one-hour road blockages in 200 places and a protest march from Pandalam to the State Secretariat, in protest against the SC verdict allowing the entry for women of all ages at the world famous Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala.
Launching the protest march "Save Sabarimala Yatra" at Pandalam, where Lord Ayyappa is believed to have spent his childhood, BJP State President PS Sreedharan Pillai said CPI (M)-led Left Government is part of a nefarious design to destroy the tradition and customs of the centuries-old temple.
Demanding the Kerala Government to bring an ordinance to protect the customs and traditions of the temple, he said that the adamant stand of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan against the believers, led to the current deadlock on the Sabarimala issue.
He added that the government should withdraw its decision to send women police personnel and women between the ages of 10 and 50 to Sabarimala.
Speaking on the occasion, Tamil Nadu BJP President Tamilisai Soundararajan said Ayyappa devotees from Tamil Nadu and all over the country will stand with Keralites in their fight to protect the customs and traditions of Sabarimala.
Bharath Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) leader Thushar Vellappalli, son of Vellappally Natesan, who is the General Secretary of Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam, alleged that the Left Government failed to protect the rights of devotees and the centuries-old customs and traditions of a Hindu temple. Several NDA leaders including PC Thomas also spoke on the occasion.
Meanwhile, State Devaswom Board Minister Kadakampally Surendran was black flagged at Kazhakkutam near here by the protestors.
Traffic came to a standstill in Kerala when the agitators staged road blockages in 200 places between 1100 hrs and 1200 hrs in the state. In Aluva, the police resorted to lathi-charge when the agitators staged a one-hour road blockage.
Other Hindu organisations also staged protest marches and staged sit-in dharnas at various places including at Palayam near the Secretariat here.
The 'Save Sabarimala Yatra' led by BJP Kerala President will reach the state capital here on October 15. The Yatra was accompanied by Rajya Sabha MP V Muralidharan, BJP State General Secretary AN Radhakrishnan.