After facing much failure in implementing the SC court order of allowing women of reproductive age inside the famous Lord Ayyappa temple due to intense protests from the devotees, CPIM led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government in Kerala is now looking to stack up its presence in Sabarimala, where the shrine is situated.
The CPIM is looking to deploy a force of its cadres in Sabarimala, when the shrine opens up next month for Mandalakala-Makaravillakku pilgrimage season which will last till February. The Government has reportedly instructed the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) which administers the Ayyappa temple to only hire CPIM sympathizers as daily wage workers to carry out various temple related tasks during the pilgrimage season.
TDB will be recruiting 1,680 workers for tasks such as preparing prasadam, distributing free food and water, assisting at offices, guest houses and other accommodation facilities. 1,650 workers will be posted at Sannidhanam while 30 will remain at Nilakkal, which is the base camp for the shrine.
The CPIM led LDF Government reportedly believes that the efforts by police to admit women inside the shrine failed because of having no external support, which they want to ensure come next month. The police says that Sabarimala was virtually under the control of people belonging to RSS and its affiliates. The assessment is that the absence of LDF supporters became a limitation for the police.