Law minister files complaints with EC against LoP, NSS chief

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Palakkad, Apr 6 (PTI) Kerala Law Minister A K Balan on Tuesday filed a complaint with the Election Commission against Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala and Nair Service Society chief G Sukumaran Nair for 'misusing the traditions and names of Gods in an unprecedented manner' on polling day.

The Sabarimala women's entry issue, one of the major poll planks of the opposition UDF and the NDA against the ruling LDF during campaigning, took centre stage even on Tuesday.

'The UDF and the BJP are misusing the traditions and the names of Gods in an unprecedented manner during this election.

The Election Commission should take serious note of such incidents,' Balan said in his complaint.

He said the NSS chief portrayed the election as a fight between the believers and non-believers at around 7.30 AM itself on the polling day.

'Soon after, the Leader of the Opposition said the Chief Minister will face the wrath of Lord Ayyappaand believerswill take revenge on the atheist chief minister,' he said.

The statements, the minister said, were against the Constitution and Representation of People's Act and were made by the opposition parties as they feared 'massive defeat' in the polls.

Kerala had witnessed violent protests by right wing activists after the LDF government decided to implement the 2018 Supreme Court verdict, allowing women of all age groups to offer prayers at the hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala, where traditionally women in the menstrual age group of 10-50 are barred from offering worship.

On Tuesday, Sukumaran Nair, the general secretary of the NSS, an outfit of Hindu Nair community, said the people of Kerala wanted a change of rule in the state.

In a veiled attack at the ruling LDF for implementing the Supreme Court verdict, allowing women of all age groups at Sabarimala, Nair said the protest of Ayyappa devotees still persist.

In response, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, said he does not think that Nair would say anything against the state government.

'He is an Ayyappa devotee.

Ayyappa and all other Gods are with this government, which has protected the interests of people belonging to all religions.

The Gods are always with those who do good for people,'he told reporters in Kannur after casting his vote at a school there.

Responding to the CM's statement, Chennithala sought to know whether atheist Vijayan was seeking the blessings of Lord Ayyappa to win the elections.

'Neither Lord Ayyappa nor his devotees will forgive the Left government for hurting their sentiments,' the senior Congress leader said. PTI RRT APR ADMINISTRATOR APR ADMINISTRATOR