THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: For the UDF, Sabarimala is a trump card in the assembly elections. Quite unlike the local body elections where it was hardly an issue. The Sabarimala issue had benefited the UDF the most in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. And now they are gearing up to cash in on the situation resulting from CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury’s public rebuttal of the regret expressed by Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran over the 2018 incidents at Sabarimala.
Yechury’s statement on Wednesday that the CPM believes in equality, and that the LDF government had no other option but to implement the Supreme Court verdict, has caught the state CPM leadership unaware. Much to the pleasure of the UDF.
With the NSS leadership too coming out against the LDF government, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has been forced to say that the Sabarimala issue needs to be discussed only when the Supreme Court takes up the case again. In a major embarrassment to the LDF, NSS general secretary G Sukumaran Nair claimed that they are fooling believers.
With the Congress lagging behind in campaigning because of delayed candidate announcement and internal squabbles, Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala has challenged the Chief Minister to change the affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court regarding young women’s entry to Sabarimala. The Congress leader reiterated the Opposition’s stand to bring in legislation on the Sabarimala issue within 100 days of the UDF government coming to power.
UDF convener M M Hassan told TNIE that the CPM’s double standards on the issue has been exposed.
“Kadakampally expressed regret over the Sabarimala issue to garner votes by hoodwinking believers. If the CPM leadership has an iota of honesty, they should be ready to change their affidavit before the Supreme Court and come out with a legislation,” Hassan said. UDF’s campaigning strategy is not merely focused on highlighting the ineptitude of the ruling front in dealing with the Sabarimala issue.
Their main objective is to expose the LDF’s failure in governance and a slew of corruption allegations. Senior Congress leader K C Joseph said the LDF government has not understood what led to their debacle in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.“They don’t have a policy on the Sabarimala issue and continue to cheat the people. Instead of changing their affidavit, the state and central CPM leaderships are coming up with different stands which shows a lack of proper deliberation within the party,” Joseph said.