Govt opened temples after talks with religious leaders: Kadakampally

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He also criticised that the union minister should go through the central government orders issued in May and June regarding COVID resistance before criticising Kerala.

Thiruvananthapuram: Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran told media here on Tuesday that some people believed that the state government would not open temples opposing the Centre's direction and they aimed at conducting a protest similar to the one organised at Sabarimala. The government took a decision in this matter after holding discussions with religious leaders, Devaswom board officials and representatives of Tantri Samajam and Tantri Mandalam, the minister added.

Kadakampally Surendran was responding to the statements made by union minister V Muraleedharan and others opposing the government's move to open temples. He also criticised that the union minister should go through the central government orders issued in May and June regarding COVID resistance before criticising Kerala.

Even when the central government allowed to open worship centres on May 30, the state government waited and took a decision only after discussions with religious leaders on June 4. NSS general secretary and SNDP general secretary also were invited to the video conferencing, but many of them did not attend the meeting. SNDP general secretary was ill and offered support to the decision of the government while NSS secretary did not attend the meeting stating that everyone knows their stand, the minister said.

Until the worship centres were opened in Kerala, those who are now criticising the government were demanding to open temples here. Majority of the BJP leaders appeared in channel discussions and asked why temples are closed while beverages outlets and shopping malls are opened. The state government put forward restrictions regarding the COVID resistance stricter than the central government, Kadakampally said.

When Palayam Mahallu Committee, Kozhikode Mahallu Committee, Angamaly Diocese and some temple committees decided not to open their worship centres during COVID, the government welcomed their decision. The government is not adamant about opening the worship centres against their will, he stated.

The state implemented all orders of the central government regarding the COVID resistance. On seeing their reactions, all should suspect that they expected the state would not open temples and plotted to conduct protests as in Sabarimala. Even Congress leader K Muraleedharan had stated that they would forcefully enter temples, if the government did not open it, the minister pointed out.

Apart from following the government directions, all security measures are strictly followed in the worship centres. Only 50 devotees are allowed to enter at a time. Also virtual queue system, sanitizer and other facilities are arranged to ensure safety, he said.

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