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Sabarimala issue did not impact LS poll outcome; Will not

Press Trust of India  |  Thiruvananthapuram 

Minister Vijayan Saturday said the women's entry issue was not the reason for the ruling LDF's rout in Lok Sabha elections and claimed many voted for expecting it to form the government at the Centre.

In his first after the CPI-M led LDF won only a lone seat out of the 20 in the state, the Marxist veteran also took a dig at Rahul Gandhi, saying the poll outcome showed why he chose Wayanad in as his second seat.

He was apparently referring to Gandhi's humiliating loss in his traditional in

Vijayan said just because his party lost in Lok Sabha polls he was not going to change his style of functioning and also there was no need for resignation of his government.

Refusing to accept the perception that the poll verdict was against his government and issue had its impact, Vijayan said the BJP would have been the "biggest beneficiary", if it was indeed a factor.

"Most voters thought will come to power and hence voted for them. This being a Lok Sabha election and not for the assembly, many decided to for the Congress.

"Besides, Rahul Gandhi's candidature from Wayanad also helped them to win," the minister said explaining the reasons for the defeat.

The state witnessed protests by devotees, right wing groups and BJP last year after the decided to implement the Supreme Court's September 22 verdict allowing women of all age groups to offer prayers at the Lord Ayyappa temple in

The court order ended traditional ban on menstrual age women and girls entering the hill shrine where the presiding deity is a "Naishtika Brahmachari" (eternal celibate).

The BJP had pinned its hopes on the issue to open its account in Lok Sabha from the state, but came a cropper.

Vijayan claimed attempts were made to create misunderstanding regarding maters of faith and the government would look into them.

"Sabarimala never affected this election. If Sabarimala was a factor, the biggest beneficiary would have been the BJP. The BJP had hoped to win the Pathanamthitta seat, however its candidate came third," he said.

He also said no government could step aside from implementing the verdict on Sabarimala.

"Some elements had tried to exploit matters of faith. We will examine this. We do not consider this as a mandate against the But its a fact that we had a faced a set back. But not against the government," he said.

Referrinig to Rahul Gandhi's election from Wayanad, he said the candidature of the Congress gave out a message he was here to fight and not the BJP.

"When he came here to contest, we asked one question. Who was he going to fight here? Instead of fighting the BJP, the message that went out wasto defeat Front," Vijayan said.

Taking a dig at the Congress chief, he said now everyone knew why Gandhi came to to fight the elections.

"He came looking for a seat to win. Congress doesn't have a seat in 13 states. They have just one seat in nine states. This is the situation of Congress. People thought was coming to power and voted for Congress," he added.

When pointed out to allegations that he took adamant stand on various issues, Vijayan said he was not going to change his style of functioning.

"I am not going to change my style of functioning. We will see who is arrogant soon. People know about all these things. I am here today because of my attitude and style of functioning. I am not going to change it," he said.

Vijayan said there was no need for his government to step down just because the opposition was demanding it.

"It's usual for the opposition to seek resignation... But we do not think this result has affected the support base of our party. The does not consider this as a setback to the government," he said adding when the time came the state would provide its support to the LDF.

front faced its biggest defeat in the recent history, conceding 19seats to the Congress-led UDF in the recent Lok Sabha polls.

Meanwhile, said the result was completely unexpected.

Isaac, in his post, said the defeat will affect the influence of the Left parties at the national level.

"Both the BJP and the Congress, who had at first welcomed the verdict on Sabarimala, later jumped into agitation after seeing it as an opportunity for political exploitation.

"Both were able to communally misguide those groups who were supporters of the Left. And that particular base went to the Congress-led UDF," Isaac said, taking a contrary view to that of Vijayan on the impact of Sabarimala issue.

He said CPI-M had pinned its hopes on "Left leaning" Dalit groups and on religious minorities, who were 'impressed' with his party's 'relentless' fight against BJP and was unable to understand the shift in votes.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, May 25 2019. 19:50 IST