THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Amid rumblings of dissent within following its debacle in the Lok Sabha elections, the CPM on Friday admitted that the Sabarimala factor played a major role in its drubbing. Observing that there was an erosion of its traditional vote base, the party decided to probe the reasons that led to the defeat. In a statement issued after the party state secretariat meeting on Friday, the CPM said, “Statistics show that right-wing forces were successful in misleading a section of the faithful.” The statement, however, didn’t mention the word ‘Sabarimala’.
While the admission indicated a rethink within the party as its leaders had repeatedly assured during electioneering that the Sabarimala issue will not have any impact on the election outcome, it comes at a time when the CPM leadership is facing severe criticism and calls for introspection after the party-led LDF won only one of the 20 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala.
The party leadership felt that minority consolidation in favour of the UDF was not the only reason for the defeat. “Not only the minorities, a section of women and upper-class Hindus also voted against the Left. That’s why there was a substantial decrease in CPM’s vote share,” pointed out a senior Left leader.
The party observed that even in constituencies where minorities don’t have a strong presence, the party suffered a setback.
The state secretariat termed the electoral defeat a temporary setback and asserted that the party would look into all aspects that led to the defeat -- from state committee to booth committees - and take necessary corrective steps, so as to win back people’s confidence.
During the election campaign, the LDF approached the people with an aim of defeating the BJP, forming a secular government at the Centre and increasing the Left presence in Parliament, the statement said. The Left was able to campaign and convince the people about the dangers of the Narendra Modi government coming back to the office, it said. However, various sections of society voted for the UDF under the impression that only the Congress can form a secular government at the Centre, it said.