TDB mulls fresh affidavit in Sabarimala bond row

Ayyappa Temple.

Thiruvananthapuram, The Travancore Devasom Board (TDB) may file a new affidavit following a fresh controversy that erupted over the manner in which they justified the parking of funds in bonds of Dhanlaxmi Bank.

The TDB in the affidavit claimed that Lord Ayyappa had foreseen calamities (floods and women’s entry) and this paved the way for some kind of compensation by way of these bonds.

The TDB is the custodian of the Sabarimala temple. TDB president A. Padmakumar, a former CPI-M legislator, on Sunday said, “We are now considering a fresh affidavit after pulling out the first one. There was no reason for giving such a reason in the first affidavit.”

Trouble has been brewing ever since the Kerala Audit Department revealed that the TDB purchased Rs 150 crore bonds of the Thrissur-headquartered Dhanlaxmi Bank using the Devaswom Employees Provident Fund and the Temple Employees Provident Fund without even conducting a risk analysis.

After the audit revealed that the lapses were serious as the rating of this bond was poor and one could have earned higher interest by parking the funds in the government treasury, to cool things the TDB has decided to file a fresh affidavit.

Since the apex court allowed entry of menstruating women to the temple, this temple town has seen upheavals with the Sangh parivar forces up in arms trying to stop the police while they took two menstruating women to pray at the temple.

The temple town for almost two months has been silent in view of the elections. But it remains to be seen, what would happen when the temple again opens next month.