LDF's hidden agenda hurts religious sentiments: Chennithala

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 4 (UNI) Alleging that the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala had miserably failed to provide basic facilities to pilgrims at the famed hill shrine in Sabarimala, the Congress in Kerala today charged the Front with having a ''hidden agenda'', hurting the sentiments of the faithful irrespective of religious belief.

Talking to reporters here, KPCC President Ramesh Chennithala said Devaswom Minister G Sudhakaran should quit office and dissolve the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which governed the Sabarimala temple, as such a neglect had never been witnessed in the history of the State during the 'Mandalavilakku' festival season.

Alleging that there was no governance in the TDB because of the differences of opinion among the members and its President, he said 1,200 temples under the Board were facing serious problems as they could not conduct annual festivals.

Mr Chennithala suggested that after dissolving the TDB, the Government should entrust the governance of the hill shrine during the Makaravilakku festival with the Government Secretary.

Charging the LDF Government with not taking any step for the implementation of the Sabarimala Master Plan, though the previous UDF Government had purchased land for the purpose, he demanded that the Government convene an all-party meeting to discuss the issue and implement it in the next festival season.

The KPCC chief alleged that though the number of pilgrims had increased manifold during the 41-day-long 'Mandalam' festival season, the income had come down considerably. The revenue had dipped from Rs 53.95 crore last year to Rs 51.16 crore in the current season, he added.

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