The veteran leader also questioned if the Congress was trying to defeat the BJP or the CPI(M) after its move to field Rahul Gandhi from Wayanad.

Sabarimala issue will affect LS polls CPIM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury
news Elections 2019 Monday, April 08, 2019 - 09:15

With just days to go for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in the country, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury observed that the controversy over women entry into the Sabarimala temple in Kerala will impact the elections.

The veteran leader made the statement in an interview to Mathrubhumi news in New Delhi. He added that although the actions of the state government in Kerala will influence the Lok Sabha polls, the real litmus test is for the ruling BJP government and not the Kerala government.

Justifying the Kerala government’s stance, he also said that had the government not implemented the Supreme Court order from September 28, 2018, it would have been an unconstitutional move, not to mention contempt of court.

Speaking on Rahul Gandhi’s decision to contest from Wayanad in Kerala, the veteran leader said that he would not say the Indian National Congress and its President cheated the CPI(M) as each part has their own interest. However, he also questioned if Congress’s interest was defeating the CPI(M) or the BJP. He also said that an alternative government which need not be led by Congress could also come up at the Centre.

In Kerala, Rahul Gandhi’s candidature from Wayanad has visibly irked the CPI(M) who was expecting to contest and win from the seat. The CPI(M) mouthpiece, Deshabhimani also carried headline which read - “Pappu strike - for the destruction of Congress” referring to Rahul Gandhi by the term most often used by right-wing groups. However, Rahul in a media interaction in Wayanad said that he will not say a single word against the CPI(M)’s campaign in the constituency.

Wayanad which is considered to be a traditional congress seat saw MP MI Shanavas being elected from there in the last two terms. However, Shanavas who had a thumping victory in the 2009 elections, won by the marginal 20,000 votes in 2014 against CPI’s Sathyan Mokeri who came second. In Pathanamthitta, where the Sabarimala temple is located, the BJP hopes to win and has given their ticket to State general secretary K Surendran. Standing against Surendran is Veena George who was the MLA of Aranmula while the Congress has renominated MP Anto Antony from the constituency.

The issue of women entry into Sabarimala is slated to be a crucial factor in Kerala with the upcoming general elections.

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