Introspecting the poll debacle, the Communist Party of India(Marxists) has finally admitted the Sabarimala row had massively backfired for them and electorally benefitted the UDF alliance and the BJP.
As per a report in India Today, in the review meeting that held between June 7- June 9, the party has zeroed in on the conclusion that the controversy that erupted following the Sabarimala verdict and the subsequent entry of two women in the inner sanctum had adversely impacted many of the party sympathisers.
— India Today (@IndiaToday) June 26, 2019
The CPI(M) despite being in power in Kerala only managed to win 2 out of the total 20 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state. The UDF had won 18 of the Lok Sabha seats with unprecedented margins. Earlier in May, CM Vijayan had dismissed the idea that Sabarimala issued worked against his party and had stated that people voted for Congress hoping that it will form the government at the centre.
According to the CPI(M)’s internal review report, BJP and UDF(alliance in Kerala headed by Congress) used the Sabarimala issue to their benefit. The fact that two women entered the temple created a huge negative impact on the party sympathisers and supporters, said the report.
The inference that the Sabarimala row had negatively influenced the Lok Sabha elections is of great significance as it is the first time that CPI(M) has held the temple issue responsible for its ignominious poll drubbing.
Massive protests and demonstrations had ensued following the Supreme Court verdict which dismissed the age-old ban on the entry of women of menstrual age(10-50years) in the Sabarimala temple, one of the most revered and sacred shrines in Kerala. Protestors thronged the Sabarimala temple vowing to preserve the temple traditions of barring women’s entry. The Left was under severe criticism from the opposition for mishandling the deteriorating situation and failing to maintain law and order in the state as violence broke out in many regions.
Kerala administration, led by CPI(M) had willingly aided the entry of two women in the Sabarimala temple, thereby desecrating its centuries-old customs. It had even attempted several times to help non-Hindus and activists in entering the temple, sometimes even escorting them. Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan and the Communist government were viewed by the people as complicit in violating the long-held traditions of the Sabarimala temple. Even the Kerala high court had slammed Pinarayi Vijayan-led communist government in Kerala for using brute force to evict temple devotees from Sabarimala shrine.