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Mangalore: Last year  he appointed widows as archaks of Kudroli Sri Gokarnanatha temple and  this year Congress leader Janardhan Poojary has gone a step further and inducted Dalit women as its priests.

The move is bold as Dalits are still not allowed to enter some temples or localities dominated by the upper castes. The two new archaks, Lakshmi, 65, from Chilimbi and Chandravathi, 45,  from Ullal, who were trained to perform  pooja, entered the temple and offered pooja to Lord Gokarnanatha and  other deities on Monday.

Readying to take the backlash, Mr Poojary told reporters,”Dalits too are children of God and  have the right to offer pooja. This is the message we want to send out by appointing the two women.”