BJP state leader C K Padmanabhan, who was on an indefinite fast in the city for the last nine days demanding withdrawal of prohibitory orders at Sabarimala, was arrested on Wednesday and moved to the Medical College hospital in the city after his health deteriorated.
The Kerala BJP has been on indefinite relay fast in front of the Secretariat here since December 3 over various demands, including withdrawal of prohibitory orders and reducing police restrictions at the hill-top shrine.
BJP state general secretary Shobha Surendran took over the relay fast after the arrest of Padmanabhan.
Earlier, BJP general secretary A N Radhakrishnan was on an indefinite fast for eight days. As his condition deteriorated, he was arrested and moved to a hospital, following which Padmanabhan began his fast.
Prohibitory orders had been imposed in and around the Sabarimala following violent protests against the LDF government's decision to implement the September 28 Supreme Court verdict, permitting women of all age groups, into the shrine.
The government's stand is that it was constitutionally bound to implement the top court verdict, while the main opposition UDF has sided with the believers.
The BJP is opposed to any move to allow women in the 10-50 age group to trek to the holy hill for darshan at the Ayyappa temple.
When the temple was opened for monthly and special pujas in October and November, there were massive protests by devotees, following which severe restrictions, including prohibitory orders, were imposed.
The Congress and the BJP have alleged that due to the restrictions, there has been a fall in the number of devotees at the temple since the two-month long pilgrim season began on November 16.
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