Mumbai: In the backdrop of protests by political parties, Maharashtra government on Friday opened the doors of the sanctum of the famous Mahalaxmi temple in Kolhapur district for women.
So far only men were permitted to enter the sanctum and perform ``abhishek`` (ritual) in the temple of goddess Ambabai from 10 am to 11.30 am everyday.
From now onwards, women will also be able to enter the temple sanctum during morning hours and also perform the ``abhishek`` with men.
A decision in this regard was taken during a meeting that was headed by Minister of State for Home Satej Patil and attended by the district Collector, temple trustees and priests, in Kolhapur today.
"We have spoken to the temple priests. Women would be allowed in the sanctum between 10 to 11.30 am. They can also perform ``abhishek``," Patil told a news agency.
BJP`s state women`s wing president Neeta Kelkar had forcefully entered the temple sanctum with women activists breaking the traditional norms a few days ago.
"We are happy that the government has supported our agitation and taken the decision to allow women inside the temple. It is one more positive step towards women after approval of Women``s Reservation Bill," Kelkar said.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) legislator from Ghatkopar here, had raised the issue in the state Legislative Assembly last week and had demanded entry for women at the sanctum.