THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that there were attempts from certain quarters to drive a wedge between the Left and believers. The Chief Minister said that there had been attempts even in the past to create this divide. "Communists were even branded as people who are out to demolish places of worship. This propaganda was launched by party enemies with the aim to nip our organisation in the bud," Mr Pinarayi said in a Facebook post.
The Chief Minister said despite such propaganda, people belonging to different religions, believers and non-believers, had bestowed their faith in the communist party establishment and rejected such false campaigns. "We have been able to arrange facilities in equal measure for Sabarimala Pilgrimage and Haj pilgrimage because we see human beings beyond caste and religious divide," he said.
The chief minister's statement came close on the heels of the war of words between him and Travancore Devaswom board president Prayar Gopalakrishnan in connection with Sabarimala temple. Pinarayi Vijayan said the state government had provided better facilities of the Haj pilgrims. For the first time in the state's history, maximum people are going to Haj. Of the total number of 11,000 Hajis, those from government quota are 4847.
"Kerala has set an example in providing facilities for Haj pilgrimage. People are working as volunteers in Haj camps without honorarium. Saudi Government and Central Haj committee have asked others to emulate Kerala in the matter of arranging facilities for Hajis," he said and added the the new camp opened at Nedumbassery has the capacity to accommodate 1,600 people at a time.