The state government has announced Rs 1,000 Pongal gift for HR and CE temple staff. “Welcoming this announcement, AIADMK supporters are sharing a poster with pictures of chief ministers Edappadi K Palaniswami, Jayalalithaa, MG Ramachandran. Marichamy, who was appointed as a priest in the HR and CE administered Ayappan Temple at Talakulam in Madurai was shown as offering prayer. Hailing from a most backward community, he underwent the government certified archaka training programme and become the first person from the batch to be appointed in the temple as a priest,” said V Ranganathan president of the association.
Like Marichamy, there are 203 persons who underwent archaka training and were still awaiting appointment in a government administered temple for the past 13 years, he said, adding to prevent non-Brahmins from entering the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, the saffron groups like RSS, BJP, Hindu Munnani and Jaggi Vasudev have launched a campaign seeking control of the temple administration to be handed over to the “worshippers.”
He appealed to all the political parties to include the promise of appointing the archakas in the HR and CE administered renowned temples. “The political parties using the picture of Marichamy should heed to our demands,” he urged.