Thiruvananthapuram: Devaswom minister Kad-akampally Surendran said on Wednesday that the Centre should bring a Bill on the Sabarimala issue in Parliament.
He told reporters that the state had raised the demand with the Centre earlier. “The Centre should introduce a Bill to provide legal protection to the believers and ensure their issues are addre-ssed. It should help the state where rule of law prevails to carry on with its work,” he added.
Referring to RSP MP N.K. Premachandran’s private member’s Bill, the minister said it was difficult to get such legislation passed in Parliament. It would also meet the same fate as that of the private member’s Bill introduced in the past.
Travancore Devaswom Board president A. Padmakumar said that the Centre should bring an official Bill and get it passed. The BJP-led government should immediately pass a law if it has any conviction about what it has been saying all along.
Pandalam palace also welcomed Premach-andran’s move to introduce a Bill. “Its a good opportunity for the NDA members to address the issue. We will also submit a memorandum to the government in this connection,” Sasikumra Var-ma of the Pandalam pal-ace told a news channel.
Congress chief whip in Parliament Kodikunnil Suresh welcomed Premac-handran’s Bill and...
said his party would extend full support to it. “Our party’s position is to protect the believers and their customs,” he said.
The lone CPM MP A.M. Arif said his party would support the centre’s move to bring legislation. He said his party could not explain its stand before the people during the Lok Sabha elections and certain sections succeeded in misguiding the believers. However, the party will make all efforts to bring back the misguided believers and that he would not oppose the Bill in Parliament.
The Kollam MP had on Monday sought permission for his Bill preventing the entry of women belonging to a particular age group in Sabarimala.
The permission for introduction of the Bill was granted and listed for Friday. This is the first Bill to be presented in the 17th Lok Sabha.
The move has come as a major relief for the CPM which faced a near rout in the recent Lok Sabha elections. The CPM central committee, state committee and secretariat had concluded after the review meetings that Sabarimala was one of the main factors for the defeat. The party felt that the UDF and BJP had succeeded in misguiding a section of believers about the stand taken by the LDF government on the issue.
Though the LDF government had no option but to implement the Supreme Court verdict as part of its constitutional responsibility, the ruling front could not convince the believers. The Left camp has already given enough signals that it would not go all-out on the issue of gender equality in matters of faith, especially in connection with Sabarimala temple. This is mainly being done to bring back the believers to the party fold....