Refusing to toe the party line, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan today claimed that the Sabarimala young women entry issue in no way was cause of the LDF's dismal performance in the Lok Sabha elections. He also felt that it was not a verdict against his Government's performance and asserted that there would be no change in his style of functioning.
If Sabarimala were to have been an issue, the benefits should have gone to the BJP. This did not happen even in Pathanamthitta, the land of the shrine, where the BJP candidate came a poor third, he told media persons in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday.
However, he admitted that the party had an unexpected drubbing and it was only a temporary phenomenon. The party would look into the causes and take necessary corrective measures, he added.
Incidentally, the party state secretariat in a statement on Friday said a section had succeeded in misleading some in the name of faith, indirectly hinting at the Sabarimala issue and said the matter would be looked into separately.
However, Pinarayi said that in Pathanamthitta, the BJP campaign was that it would make a clean sweep which did not happen, but it succeeded in spreading 'false propaganda'. What his Government did was only to implement the Supreme Court verdict which was only natural, Pinarayi claimed.
There was an anti-Modi mood in the State and the LDF led in kindling this. However, finally the UDF drew the benefit as there was a false notion that the Congress would emerge as an alternative.
About his style of functioning which has come in for sharp criticism from several quarters, Pinarayi appeared adamant as usual and said this was the style he had been following for years. This had been accepted as he had reached this position and there would be no change, he asserted.
Pinarayi did not spare Congress president Rahul Gandhi, saying his decision to contest from Wayanad was because he was sure of defeat in his traditional Amethi as proved right after May 23. He could not contest from Madhya Pradesh or Chattisgarh or Karnataka where his party was swept away. The CPM did not press this point during the campaign as it feared that ultimately the BJP would draw benefits.
Rahul's contesting from Wayanad did send out wrong signals as a united fight was the need of the hour, Pinarayi added. The election rout was not a verdict against his Government and party would look into the matter and take necessary steps to emerge stronger, he said.