NEW DELHI — BJP President Amit Shah 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 his party stands firmly with every Ayyappa devotee who holds the Sabarimala tradition close to his heart, the BJP President said his party will 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," the BJP chief said.
Gulag was a system of forced labour camps established during Joseph Stalin's rule in the Soviet Union.
Shah's comments underlined his party'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 the temple.
The Left Democratic Front (LDF) government has accused the BJP of politicising the court order, with the chief minister asserting that it is the job of a government to implement the apex court's order.
Shah said the way the way Pinarayi Vijayan's government is handling the sensitive issue of Sabarimala is 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.