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Last Updated Saturday November 18 2017 04:19 PM IST

Governor signs Devaswom ordinance; Padmakumar is new TDB chief

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Kadakampally Surendran Devaswom minister Kadakampally Surendran said the new board chief and member will take charge in a couple of days. File photo

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala governor P Sathasivam on Tuesday signed an ordinance which seeks to reduce the term of a board which manages over 1,000 Hindu temples after the state government submitted its replies to clarifications sought by him, official sources said.

The governor had on Monday sought details of the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) Act, which the ordinance seeks to amend, and the circumstances that led to the CPM-led LDF Government deciding to cut short by one year the three-year term of the TDB Board.

He sought the clarifications in the backdrop of opposition Congress-led UDF and BJP urging him not to sign the ordinance claiming that the government's move was ''politically motivated''.

Sources in the Devaswom minister's office here on Monday said the reply for the clarifications sought was given and the governor signed the ordinance. A special cabinet meeting held on November 9 decided to promulgate the ordinance reducing the term of the board. TDB manages about 1,240 temples, including the famous Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala, where the pilgrim season is set to begin by this month end.

The Congress and the BJP had protested the move and wrote to the governor not to sign the ordinance.

With the ordinance being promulgated by the governor, the government on Monday appointed former MLA A Padmakumar the president of the TDB. CPI leader K P Sankardas has been appointed a member.

The third member of the TDB is K Raghavan, who is an LDF nominee. He has completed only one year in office.

TDB president Prayar Gopalakrishnan and member Ajay Tharayil were forced to quit the board with the government cutting short the tenure to two years.

(With PTI inputs)

Read more: Latest Kerala news | Thomas Chandy's brazen defense: won't quit over mere HC remarks

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