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On day 49, BJP calls off Sabarimala hunger strike


Thiruananthapuram:  BJP ended on its 49th day its strike at the Secretariat strike demanding protection of tradition in Sabarimala and withdrawal of prohibitory orders there.  The strike was called off, leaving the leadership at a loss to explain the reasons for withdrawal.  

The last in the series of the hunger-strikers,  national executive committee member PK Krishna Das was served lime juice by Gandhina P Gopinathan Nair and veteran leader K Ayyappan Pilla to mark the end of the strike.

Party's state president PS Sreedharan Pilla said at the concluding session that the hunger strike was called off as the Sabarimala protection drive was entering its sixth stage.   He added that god's will and people's will were in favour of BJP,  and the sixth stage would be  two weeks of connecting with the public.  BJP's strike for the cause of Sabarimala was a success,  despite attempts by the chief minister,  the government and AKG Centre to tighten a noose around the agitation.

Leaders of RSS and BJDS all-India president Tushar Vellappally,  BJP MLA O Rajagopal and senior leaders of BJP spoke on the occasion.

The huner strike started on 3 December and at no stage during the strike did the government come forward to hold talks.  In the middle of the strike,  Venugopalan Nair hailin from Muttada barged into the strike tent after setting himself on fire and died,  and the incident stirred controversies.  The final decision of BJP came in the wake of the closing of Sabarimala entrance marking the end of the pilgrimage season.

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