THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Sabarimala, especially the communal campaign unleashed by right-wing forces in the issue, did have an impact on the Left Front’s defeat in the recent Lok Sabha elections. However, Sabarimala cannot be termed as the sole reason for the debacle, observed the CPM state secretariat.
Multiple factors, including the UDF campaign projecting the Congress as the sole alternative to unseat the Modi Government, minority consolidation at some pockets and regional-level factors, led to the electoral setback, according to the party assessment. The CPM is also confident though there was an electoral defeat, there’s no permanent erosion of its vote base, and the Left Front would be able to win back its vote share.
“Of course, there are multiple factors. The UDF campaign, especially in the backdrop of the recent Assembly elections in three states, that the Congress can be the only alternative to Modi rule has worked in favour of the UDF. There was a feeling among the voters that the Congress should either get the majority or become the single largest party, to unseat the BJP Government. Rahul contesting from Wayanad and the campaign that he would be the future PM added to this campaign,” said sources.
The CPM admits that there was erosion in its traditional vote base, especially those from upper caste Hindus. However, it does not believe Sabarimala made a drastic impact on deciding the poll outcome.
“There was a wrong campaign surrounding the Sabarimala issue. However, we do not feel it has made a drastic impact across the state. Even in booths where there are majority Hindu votes, the party has polled its traditional votes. But, a section was misled,” sources added.
Other factors like minority consolidation as a resistance towards the BJP, political violence in some pockets of north Kerala especially in Kannur, Vadakara regions and internal issues in places like Palakkad have also contributed to the defeat. The internal feud has been alleged as one of the factors that led to the CPM’s failure in Palakkad.
Searching for reasons
The party may consider setting up a top commission to look into its defeat in Palakkad. Similar inquiries may be carried out in regions like Attingal and Kasaragod.
The party state secretariat finalised the report to be presented before the two-day state committee from Friday.