Sabarimala temple issue led to LS poll debacle: CPI(M)

After the Lok Sabha poll drubbing in Kerala, where the LDF could win only a single seat, the ruling CPI(M) on Wednesday admitted the entry of two women into the Sabarimala temple did cause a 'big impact' at the hustings.

This was stated in a post-poll evaluation report, prepared by the party's central committee and discussed during the two-day state committee meeting in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday and Monday, excerpts of which were published in party mouthpiece 'Deshabhimani' on Wednesday.

A day after the 'human wall of women' was organised by the ruling front on January 1, two women had trekked the holy hills and offered prayers at the Sabarimala temple.

This was much used by the Opposition Congress-led UDF and the BJP during the election campaign, creating a 'big impact' among party sympathisers, it was stated in the report.

This is the first time that the CPI(M) has openly admitted the entry of the two women -- Bindu and Kanakadurga (both in their forties) -- into the Lord Ayyappa temple on January 2 had contributed to the Front's defeat.

The Supreme Court had on September 28 last year allowed women of all age groups to offer prayers at the Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala, where earlier women and girls in the menstrual age were forbidden.

Protests had broken out in the state after the LDF government decided to implement the verdict.

Earlier, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had stated that Sabarimala women's entry issue was not the reason for the ruling Left front's rout in the LS polls and had claimed that many voted for Congress-led UDF, which won 19 seats, expecting it to form the government at the Centre.

(Agencies)