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Modi to declare Sabarimala as a national pilgrimage centre

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Considering the long-standing demand of Kerala, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will declare Sabarimala as a national pilgrimage centre soon. The chances are that he will arrive before the rush begins because of security reasons.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had repeated this demand when he met the Prime Minister in Delhi last week. The national and state leaderships of the BJP calculate that by declaring Sabarimala as a national pilgrimage centre, the party would be able to take root in Kerala.

Along with that, there are moves to declare Aranmula as a national heritage village by the prime minister. If Aranmula is declared as a national heritage, crores of rupees will be given as central assistance through different projects. Once that happens, the airport project will have to be shelved.

The state police have started preparations on the assumption that Modi will arrive. They are planning to bring Modi to Sabarimala in a helicopter after his special aircraft lands in Nedumbassery.

The first priority is to build a helipad in Nilakkal. If not, he will have to be brought by car from Pathanamthitta. A helipad can be built in the Catholicate College ground in Pathanamthitta. But, it is pointed out that this would cause more security problems.