Taking a U-turn on his earlier views on entry of women into the Sabarimala temple, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said he cannot take an "open-and-shut” position on the issue as there is validity in the arguments of both the sides. Gandhi had earlier said that all women should be allowed to enter the temple premises. He further admitted that his initial position on the Sabarimala issue was different than what it is today.
While addressing a press conference in Dubai, Gandhi on Saturday said the issue is "much more complicated" and he would leave it to the people of Kerala to decide on the matter.
Rafale row | People deserve to know what role Michel played in delaying procurement of Rafale for 10 long yrs: PM
Not here to tell my 'mann ki baat', want to listen to you: Rahul Gandhi takes jibe at PM Modi in Dubai
'Does country want a pradhan sevak who is on vacation when needed at home': PM Modi's jibe at Rahul Gandhi
'Respect BSP-SP's decision, Congress will fight with its full capacity in UP': Rahul Gandhi on Grand Alliance
"I have heard both the arguments, my initial position was different than what my position is today. After I heard the arguments of people of Kerala, I can see validity in both the arguments that traditions need to be protected. I can see validity in the argument that women should have equal rights. So, I would not be able to give you an open-and-shut position on this," Gandhi said.
"After I spoke to the people in Kerala and the Pradesh Congress Committee team in the state and they explained the details, I realised that the issue is much more complicated and both sides have a valid position. I would leave it to the people to decide on this," he said.
After the Supreme Court verdict, Gandhi had said that all women should be allowed to enter the Sabarimala temple, noting that his view on the issue was different from that of his party's Kerala unit.
The top court verdict was welcomed by the Congress in the capital, while the party MPs from Kerala had opposed it.
The shrine was out of bounds for girls and women between 10 and 50 years of age.
On September 28, the Supreme Court in its verdict had allowed women of all age groups to offer prayers at the hill shrine dedicated to Lord Ayyappa.