New Delhi: CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Saturday accused the RSS and BJP of running a "political project" in the name of Sabarimala devotees and "unleashing" violence to serve their interests.
Amid a stand-off over the entry of menstrual age women into the shrine, thousands of pilgrims offered prayers at the Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala on Saturday, the first day of Malayalam month of 'Vrischikom', even as a 12-hour hartal called by right-wing Hindu outfits hit Kerala.
Yechury alleged that the actions of RSS-BJP were "anti-Hindu devotees" as they were preventing them from praying in the temple.
There was no immediate reaction from Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on allegations by the CPI(M) which heads the ruling Left Democratic Front alliance in Kerala.
"What is happening in Kerala today is a political project of the RSS-BJP in the name of Sabarimala devotees. They are misusing Sabrimala devotees for their political agenda," Yechury alleged at a press conference at the Communist Party of India (Marxist) office here.
"They are actually preventing the devotees from exercising their right to go to the temple and seek blessings. So what the RSS-BJP are doing is anti-Hindu devotees," Yechury alleged.
Rightwing Hindu outfits called for a dawn to dusk hartal in Kerala in protest against arrest of a senior Sangh Parivar leader who was on a pilgrimage to Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple.
The temple complex and nearby areas had witnessed widespread protests led by right wing Hindu outfits after the state government decided to implement the September 28 apex court verdict allowing women of menstrual age entry into the shrine.
Yechury said the actions of the RSS and BJP were "most unfortunate".
"The violence today unleashed by them is unprovoked. So, the objective is very clear to misuse the devotion of devotees for their political purposes. This is most unfortunate," he said.
The Supreme Court is slated to hear petitions seeking review of its September 28 order in January, but has refused to stay it.
The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which manages the shrine, has made it clear that it would approach the apex court seeking more time to implement its September 28 verdict permitting women of all ages to offer prayers at the Sabarimala temple.