Kerala's Devasom Minister G Sudhakaran on Thursday alleged certain vested interests at the Travancore Devasom Board (TDB) in Thiruvananthapuram are behind actress Jaimala's revelation that she touched the idol at the famed Sabarimala temple.
"Her revelation that she touched the idol of Lord Ayyappa years ago is unwarranted, untrue and unwanted and one that tarnishes the prestige of the temple," Sudhakaran said.
The temple, situated in the Western Ghats in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala, is out of bounds for women aged between 10 and 50.
Sudhakaran said the truth would be known soon when he discusses the report of a police probe with Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.
The probe by the crime branch reportedly indicates the episode was a conspiracy.
"If she (Jaimala) is a true devotee of Lord Ayyappa she would not have dragged the temple into the present controversy. Sabarimala, of late, has been drawing a huge number of devotees and the South Indian lobby is worried because of this," said Sudhakaran.
He said vested interests have exploited the difference of opinion between the TDB (custodian of the temple) and the thantri (priest).
"The forest mafia is also conspiring to defame the temple as a drop in the number of devotees will allow them to go on freely with their illegal trade," the minister said.
Regarding entry of women in the temple, he said the constitutional obligation following a high court judgement that women in the age group 10-50 only should be allowed inside is being honoured.