“All deities, including Swamy Ayyappan, will support the LDF government in the Assembly elections,” said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan after polling at the Pinarayi High School. He was accompanied by his wife and Rajya Sabha MP KK Ragesh. The CM was replying to NSS general secretary Sukumaran Nair, who said that the LDF wouldn’t win again.
“Sukumaran Nair will never speak against the government. He is an Ayyappa believer. Ayyappan and all the idols of the rest of the people are with this government. This government has protected all religions and peoples,” Pinarayi said. On the other hand, Pinarayi Vijayan invoking Ayyappa has become a hot topic on polling day. However, Pinarayi isn’t the only CPM leader to invoke Ayyappa.
“The left government ensured the security of all religious people. If the gods had a vote, this time everyone would have voted for the left, said former CPM Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who added that most developments were done in Sabarimala. According to him, a large number of believers have migrated to the LDF but reminded everyone that they were a “secular” force and not a “communal” party. He emphasises that the LDF has no tie-up with the BJP or the Jamaat-e-Islami.
On the other hand, Finance Minister Thomas Isaac stayed on top of the party message (or maybe he was not updated on the changes) and claimed that it was the development projects and not Sabarimala that was the crux of the LDF government. He said that all sections of people are with the Left front in the Assembly elections. Thomas Isaac was also replying to the Chief Minister’s remark that Ayyappan and all the gods would support a government that benefited the people.
The opposition was quick to notice this as well. Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Monday lashed out against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s statement. Chandy asked who would believe what the Chief Minister said about Sabarimala. “Not a single believer in Kerala will trust the words of the Chief Minister. When asked to withdraw their affidavit, CPM replied in the negative. It is surprising that such a stance was taken during the election,” said Oommen Chandy
The senior Congress leader also lamented that the Chief Minister, who has always opposed the believers in the Sabarimala issue, changed his stand on polling day because he is afraid of failure. “Why is the Chief Minister, who corrected Kadakampally Surendran when the latter expressed regret over the Sabarimala row, changing his stand now? This will not change the opinion of the people,” Oommen Chandy said, adding that Modi’s Congress Muktha Bharat and Pinarayi’s Sabarimala stand will be rejected in the elections.
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala asked whether we should interpret Pinarayi Vijayan’s statement as the Chief Minister, who is an atheist, seeking help from Ayyappa and other gods. Nemom candidate K Muraleedharan said that no amount of calling Ayyappa’s name would help the LDF government now. AICC general secretary KC Venugopal said that the Sabarimala issue remains in people’s heart and asked how the CM could seek God’s help when he had hurt the faith of the people.