Thiruvananthapuram: Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran admitted in the Assembly on Monday that only two young women had darshan at Sabariamla during this season. His statement in a written reply has raised eyebrows as the government had said in an affidavit submitted in the Supreme Court that 51 young women had climbed the hill shrine. The list had triggered a major controversy due to the discrepancies in it. Later the government reduced the number to 17.
The two women are Bindu and Kanakadurga. There is no confirmation about the reports about Sri Lankan national Sasikala having drashan.
The figures presented by the minister are based on the devaswom executive officer's report. Sources said the list provided in the apex court was of women who had registered online and there was no confirmation as to how many had darshan.
The minister said the Supreme Court had not directed the government to provide special security to women going to Sabarimala. There is no provision in the devaswom manual to shut the temple and conduct purification ritual in the event of violation of customs, he said. The decisions regarding purification ceremony have to be taken by the devaswom officials, he added. Though Sabarimala tantri is not an employee of the devaswom board, he is bound to act in compliance with the manual, he said.
He admitted that there was a dip in the offerings during the Mandala Makravilakku season. The offering stood at Rs 72.10 crore compared to Rs 97.52 crore in the last season. The total income of the temple too dropped by nearly Rs 100 crore....