VIPs may lose their privileges in Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple in Kerala as the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government is now planning to bring laws against temple authorities giving special treatment to VIPs visiting the temple. While reviewing the advance preparations for Sabarimala season for the year, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan directed temple authorities to abolish the VIP darshan at the temple.
“It’s time we abolish the preferential treatment to devotees. Whoever visiting the temple should be treated equally. In my opinion, the temple should be opened everyday for the devotees,” the chief minister said in a high-level meeting.
But, Prayar Gopalakrishnan, president of Travancore Dewasom Board, raised objections to the CM’s remarks.
Gopalakrishnan said that it was not possible to abolish VIP darshan at the temple as a heavy crowd throngs the temple during the two-month long pilgrim peak season that begins in mid-November and ends in January.
However, Vijayan countered his objections, saying that the government would not allow the Dewasom Board to play politics over the temple.
The chief minister also suggested that temple authorities charge a nominal fee for the darshan in the model of Tirupathi Temple.
Prayar Gopalakrishnan was appointed as President of the Board by former Oommen Chandy government.
Sabarimala annual pilgrimage attracts around 50 million devotees annually across the world. The temple restricts the entry of women between the age of 10-50 from visiting the holy premises.