Amid the ongoing protests over the entry of women of all ages in the Sabarimala Temple in Kerala, Congress President Rahul Gandhi has made a U-turn from his earlier stance on the issue. While earlier supporting the entry of women in Sabarimala, despite having a difference in opinion with Congress leaders in Kerala, Rahul Gandhi, on Saturday, said that he sees equal validity in both the arguments supporting women's rights and argument about protecting traditional values.
While addressing a press meet during his 2-day UAE tour, Rahul Gandhi further denied to give an 'open and shut position' on the Sabarimala row.
"I have heard both the arguments. My initial position was different than my position today. After I have heard the arguments of the people of Kerala I can see validity in both arguments that tradition needs to be protected and I also saw validity in the argument that women should have equal rights. I would not or I will not be able to give you an open and shut position on this. This is after I spoke to the people of Kerala PCC and the team of Kerala and they explained me the details of it where I said okay this is much more complicated and everything has a valid position and leave it to the people of Kerala to decide that’s what I told my unit over there. Obviously, I’m not going to comment on the SC verdict that is my place to comment on it," he said while speaking at the UAE press meet.
Days after the 4:1 Supreme Court bench ended the centuries-old practice and allowed women of all ages to enter Sabarimala temple on September 28, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had stated that he was in favour of SC's verdict on the entry of women in the Lord Ayyappa temple. However, his comments had contradicted the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee's decision who protested against the Supreme Court order.
Incidentally, the Sabarimala protest brought the BJP and the Congress on the same side of the debate with both the parties opposing the CPI(M) leader Pinarayi Vijayan-led Kerala government which has been protecting the women and implementing the Supreme Court's order allowing entry of women of all age in the Sabarimala temple.
Following the protests, leaders of Congress and BJP parties had lashed out at the CPI(M)-led LDF government and chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, after two women in their 40s entered the Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala on January 2.
(Video courtesy: Congress YouTube)