CM's arrogance, Sabarimala led to poll rout in Kerala: CPI



Taking a pragmatic view of the massive rout suffered by the Left in the recently-held Lok Sabha elections in Kerala, the Communist Party of India (CPI) said on Thursday that the arrogance of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the Sabarimala issue were the primary reasons for the Left's debacle.

The ruling Left won just one out of the 20 Lok Sabha seats in the state, down from the 8 it had won in 2014. The Congress-led UDF won 19 seats while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) again failed to open its account in Kerala.

Speakers who spoke at the high-level meeting of CPI's Kerala unit said that the arrogance of Vijayan in the way he functioned in the past three years and the manner in which two women activists broke the tradition of the famed Sabarimala by entering the shrine contributed to the Left's dismal show in the Lok Sabha polls.

Some CPI leaders said that even though the state government had to abide by the Supreme Court's directive, which called for opening the Sabarimala temple to women of all age groups, the way the government handled the entire episode forced many "believers" shift their allegiance from the Left.

The observations made by the CPI leaders were similar to the sentiments expressed by several candidates of the Congress-led UDF who thanked Vijayan for their victory in the elections.

Incidentally, the observations made by the CPI -- the second biggest ally in the state's ruling Left -- came at a time when the CPI-M central leadership in Delhi is discussing the rout the party suffered in the Lok Sabha polls.

While Vijayan had discarded the notion that mishandling of the Sabarimala issue led to the poll debacle, his party, the CPI-M, had pointed out that the issue of "faith" played a big role behind the election setback.IANS