Rattled Communist Government Turns From ‘Danda’ To ‘Bheda’? Directs  Sabarimala Vacancies Be Filled By CPM Cadre OnlyMembers of Sabarimala Ayyappa Seva Samajam (SASS) take part in a protest. (Biplov Bhuyan/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The Communist-led Left Democratic Front in Kerala has reportedly instructed the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) to recruit sympathisers of the CPM to work on daily wages at Sabarimala during the peak Mandalakala-Makaravilakku pilgrimage season starting 15 November.

According to Malayala Manorama, the move comes after recent development in which the state police were unable to make any breakthrough to break up protests by Ayyappa devotees against attempts by women of reproductive age to enter the temple. Police did not get any external support during the Malayalam Thulam monthly rituals performed at the temple from 17 to 22 October.

Police tried to allow some women of reproductive age into the temple as per the Supreme Court ruling to allow woman of all age but it faced strong resistance from devotees, who the police allege were from the Sangh parivar.

The report said an assessment has been made which showed that absence of LDF supporters from Pampa to the shrine became a limiting factor for the police. Therefore, the Kerala government has asked the TDB to ensure that only CPM cadres are recruited.

The board will recruit 1,680 temporary workers to perform various tasks at the temple premises. Of this, 1,650 will be posted at the Sannidham and 30 others will stay at Nilakkal, the base camp of the temple.

Tasks like distribution of food and water, assisting at office, guest houses and other accommodation facilities for pilgrims will be performed by these temporary workers. The workers can stay at Sabarimala until the closing of the season.

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