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Kerala: politics over Padmanabhaswamy temple

Aug 23, 2011 08:41 AM IST India India
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Thiruvananthapuram: The row over the Padmanabhaswamy temple wealth has now taken a political colour. Political parties have reacted strongly to former Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan's allegations against the Travancore royal family.

The CPM stalwart had accused the present head of the erstwhile Travancore royal family of smuggling out precious articles from the temple.

Opposition leader Achuthanandan said, "Don't you know that Marthanda Varma goes to the temple every day? When he returns, he carries a tiffin box. The perception is that he brings 'payasam'. But it is not that. Instead, it is jewels. I was told this by one of the former priests, who lost his job after he found out" .

The Congress-led UDF government has slammed Achuthanandan, calling the remark unbecoming of his stature.

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said, "It was not right for Achuthanandan to speak like this. I am stating what the public in Kerala feels."

Religious and social organisations have also criticised the former Chief Minister for his comment though Marthandavarma himself has kept quiet.

Achuthanandan's allegation comes at a time when the royal family moved the Supreme Court seeking direction not to open vault B as per the conclusions of the devaprasnom. While the Left is sticking to its traditional scornfulness towards royalty, the Congress prefers to play it safe keeping in mind religious sentiments.