CPM backtracks, not to forcefully implement Sabarimala women entry verdict this season

CPM backtracks, not to forcefully implement Sabarimala women entry verdict this season


The CPM has decided to go back on its stand of implementing the September 28, 2018, Supreme Court verdict allowing young women to worship at the hill shrine of Sabarimala.

The decision came in the wake of Thursday's ruling of the court to refer the review petitions against the young women entry verdict to a larger Bench.

The party, which has been struggling to find a way out of a mess of its own creation, claimed that there was no clarification on whether the earlier verdict stands, and has now taken cover under 'confusion' in the latest verdict.

The party state secretariat, which met on Friday, decided not to go ahead with its 'forceful' implementation of the verdict like during the last pilgrimage season which saw violent protests by the BJP-RSS combine and Hindu organisations on the one side and police forces on the other.

The party sought the opinion of law experts based on which the decision was taken. Law Minister AK Balan told media persons that the government had "no confusion" but there was ambiguity in the Supreme Court Bench as there was no clarification on a stay on the September 28 verdict.

After the recent Lok Sabha debacle, the party had found that the government stand that it would implement the verdict at any cost, had cost the party much.

Devaswom minister Kadakampally Surendran said no protection would be provided to women who wanted to make it to Sabarimala. Women will not be taken to Sabarimala under police protection. If they want to go there, they should bring a court order in this regard he is reported to have said.

Already activist Trupti Desai, who had been denied entry to undertake the pilgrimage, has said she would make it to the shrine during this season, which begins on Saturday.

Minister Kadakkampally went even a step further when he said that activists like Trupti should not view Sabarimala as a place to "show off their power". Troubles occurred when people conducted press meets and announced that they would be visiting Sabarimala, he said. "They are not devotees and seek mere publicity," he added.

A section in the party feels that the present stand is like the old adage of going one step forward and two steps back. Those who violently opposed the implementation of the verdict last time will score a 'moral victory' again through the CPM backtracking.