It appears to be one step forward and two steps back as far as Sabarimala is concerned for the CPIM. After claiming to have led a massive renaissance movement in Kerala after forcefully trying to implement the Supreme Court verdict allowing women of all ages to worship at the shrine and saying it no way affected the electoral debacle of the LDF, the party has gone very far back on this stand.
The Sabarimala issue did create some serious misunderstanding among the people, admitted party state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. After the first day of the door-to-door visit by CPIM cadres on Monday to explain the party stand on various issues and also learn about people's views, Kodiyeri told media persons that there was a 'misunderstanding' among people as they believed the Left was against devotees. All steps to clear these misconceptions would be initiated, he added.
After the drubbing at the recent Lok Sabha polls, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had claimed that the Sabarimala issue had no impact on the results. But a month later, party mouthpiece 'Deshabhimani' said that the Sabarimala issue was one of the major reasons for the debacle, a view shared by the party's central leadership.
It was in this backdrop that the party decided to undertake an outreach programme through a door-to-door campaign. The first day itself gave a clear picture of what people thought and what the party failed to gauge earlier.
Kodiyeri, who is also part of the outreach programme, said the Left was not against devotees. All political parties had welcomed the Sabarimala verdict initially, but some went back in a few days making the political situation change suddenly.
"There have been charges that the government was not able to accommodate those changes and make clear its stand," he said.
Things would change and the party would seriously consider the views of people during the week-long house visits up to July 28, he added.