Close on the heels of the controversial harthal call over the death of an Ayyappa devotee last week, BJP state president PS Sreedharan Pillai's speech at a Yuva Morcha meeting stating that the Sabarimala protest was the party 'agenda' has gone viral.
In an immediate reaction, Pillai said he was not reacting to it as the whole Sabarimala issue was under court consideration. At a Yuva Morcha meeting in Kozhikode recently, the video showed Pillai saying protests in Sabarimala and the events related to them when the shrine opened for five days in mid-October were planned in advance by the party.
He was even seen telling the activists that temple chief priest tantri Kantararu Rajeevaru had contacted him before he made the controversial announcement that he would close the shrine in case any woman in the 10-50 age group entered the shrine as it would be against customs and traditions and tantamount to defiling the temple.
Pillai said the tantri had made the call when he learnt that a few women were making an attempt to reach the shrine. On the tantri's fears that the action of closing the shrine would be construed as contempt of court, Pillai told him that thousands of devotees and the BJP were behind him.
The party general secretaries had worked hard to make the protests, part of the party agenda, a 'success’, he said. Pillai was all praise for the Yuva Morcha whose activists blocked two women who tried to enter the Sannidhanam under the escort of Inspector General Sreejith.
He was seen telling those at the meeting that the BJP was waiting to see if the State Government too would “fall in line”. The speech that is going viral has left the BJP in an embarrassing situation.