Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said women must be allowed to enter Shani Shingnapur temple and offer prayers.
While taking a stand clear over the contentious issue, former agriculture minister said, which God discriminates between men and women.
Defying an age-old tradition of not allowing women inside the sanctum sanctorum of Shani shrine, hundreds of women protesters on January 26 tried to force their way in but were stopped.
Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has offered to help to end the ongoing impasse between women activists and locals over the entry of women in the shrine.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has also come out in support of the need to allow women into the temple.
The temple drew attention in November 2015 after a woman had offered prayers at the popular shrine in "breach" of age-old practice that prohibits entry of women, after which the temple committee had to suspend seven security men and the villagers to perform purification rituals.
The temple attracts millions of tourists and devotees from across the country and abroad.