Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala BJP president PS Sreedharan Pillai has left his party red-faced after an audio clip surfaced which had the leader purportedly saying that the Sabarimala issue was a “golden opportunity” for the party, said a media report on Monday. A leading portal carried the news of the audio clip in which Pillai can be heard claiming that the chief priest of the Sabarimala Temple consulted him over closing the doors of the sanctum sanctorum in case women tried to enter the shrine. (Catch Sabarimala LIVE Updates Here)

The viral clip was reportedly from Pillai’s reported address to the Yuva Morcha state committee in Kozhikode. The clip has Pillai claiming that chief priest Kandararu Rajeevaru was concerned about shutting the doors of the temple as he feared contempt of court but decided in favour of doing so after consultation with the BJP leader, said the report on News18.com.

“The tantric community has more faith in BJP and its state chief. When women were about to enter Sabarimala, he called me up. I had given him a word and it coincidentally came true. He was a bit upset over shutting the doors of sanctum sanctorum fearing it would invite contempt of court. I was among the few he had contacted that time.

“I said he is not alone. We’d be the first to be slapped with the charges of contempt of court if it comes. There would be tens of thousands of people to be with him. Upon our word, he took a firm stand. That decision had actually left the police and the administration baffled. We hope he’d repeat it again. Later, I became the first accused and he the second accused on charges of contempt of court… As we both figured in, his confidence increased,” he allegedly told the gathering.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pinayari Vijayan reacted to the news and condemned the involvement of BJP’s state unit chief. He said, “The odious politics and perfidious ways of BJP stand exposed. Evidence has surfaced that BJP leaders in the State connived to create trouble in Sabarimala. It must be noted that their State president himself was involved in the ruse. This is highly condemnable.”

Later, when the clip went viral, Pillai said he was giving his opinion as a leader and a legal adviser. However, according to the report, he refused to comment on why he called it a “golden opportunity”. Weeks after violent protests against the entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala Temple rocked Kerala, the shrine is set to open for a special puja on Monday evening.