"Kerala Chief Minister has had discussions with religious heads," minister Kadakampally Surendran said.
Kerala Minister Kadakampally Surendran today hit out at Union Minister V Muraleedharan over his comments criticising the opening of temples to devotees in the southern state. "State government has followed Central guidelines and for a union minister to speak like this, it reeks of myopic...partisan politics," said Mr Surendran, who handles the ministry which manages the temples in the state.
In a tweet, late on Monday, Mr Muraleedharan had claimed that neither devotees nor the temple committees had demanded the opening of temples.
"The Kerala government's decision to reopen temples despite opposition from devotees smell foul. Neither the devotees nor the temple committees demanded the opening of temples," he tweeted.
"What is the haste? Is this a deliberate attempt by the atheist @vijayanpinarayi (sic) Govt to denigrate devotees? Govt must heed to the voice of devotees and withdraw its decision," the Rajya Sabha MP followed with another tweet.
The Kerala government's decision to reopen temples despite opposition from devotees smell foul. Neither the devotees nor the temple committees demanded the opening of temples. @CMOKerala@vijayanpinarayi@BJP4Keralam@JPNadda@AmitShah@narendramodi@BJP4India- V Muraleedharan (@VMBJP) June 8, 2020
Mr Surendran today reacted sharply to the minister's remarks, offering a point-by-point rebuttal to the central minister's claims.
"Kerala Chief Minister has had discussions with religious heads and representatives. While some said they will not open their religious places for now, that has been welcomed by the state government. We are not adamant about anything. There are other stakeholders across religions who have claimed that they will open following the strict guidelines in place", Mr Surendran said.
He noted that religious places in BJP-ruled Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh have also opened up as part of "Unlock 1", which is centre's graded exit plan from the lockdown.
"The union Minister is forgetting his post. He is alleging conspiracy by Kerala government. In Karnataka, temples have been disinfected. Can anyone say that it is a conspiracy by BD Yeddyurappa? In Uttar Pradesh, temples have been opened under the leadership of its CM. But when there is no conspiracy there, the minister is raising allegations of conspiracy against Kerala, which is only implementing the Central guidlines. This is nothing but myopic politics," he said.
Unveiling graded exit plan from the lockdown "Unlock 1", the central government had earlier allowed reopening of places of worship, malls and restaurants from Monday onwards across the country.