BJP president Amit Shah on Tuesday slammed the Pinarayi Vijayan government’s handling of the situation in Sabarimala as “disappointing” and accused the Kerala government of treating pilgrims as “Gulag inmates” and making them spend nights next to “pig droppings”.
Asserting that the BJP stood firmly with every Ayyappa devotee who held the Sabarimala tradition close to his heart, Shah said his party would not let the LDF “crush people’s faith with impunity”.
In a series of tweets, Shah said, “If several reports of flushing resting places for devotees and them having to spend nights next to pig droppings and dustbin are true, then Pinarayi Vijayan must realize that he can’t treat Ayyappa devotees like inmates of Gulag. We won’t let LDF crush people’s faith with impunity.”
Gulag was a system of forced labour camps established during Joseph Stalin’s rule in the Soviet Union.
Shah’s comments underlined the BJP’s support to devotees protesting against the state government’s move to implement a Supreme Court order lifting the bar on women of menstruating age from visiting Sabarimala.
The Vijayan government had accused the BJP of politicising the Supreme Court order with the chief minister asserting that it was the job of a government to implement the apex court’s order.
Shah said the way Vijayan’s government was handling the sensitive issue of Sabarimala was disappointing as the “Kerala police is treating young girls, mothers and aged inhumanly, forcing them to take the arduous pilgrimage, without even basic facilities like food, water, shelter and clean toilets”.
“If Pinarayi Vijayan thinks he can rise against people’s movement to preserve Sabarimala by arresting K Surendran, BJP’s Thrissur district president and six others, then he is mistaken,” Shah said.