Kerala CM Vijayan’s remark “Gods are with LDF” draws flak from opposition leaders
Once again Sabarimala temple took a centerstage in Kerala politics after 2019 Lok Sabha elections. This time it was the remark of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who said that the deities and Gods of Sabarimala were with his government, that drew criticism from the opposition government. On Tuesday, after casting his vote from his constituency, Kannur’s Dharmadam, the LDF leader said: “The people of Kerala will bestow a historic verdict on the LDF. The Government had stood with the people in crisis. It is believed that those people will support the LDF.”
Vijayan mentioned Sabarimala as the ruling CPI(M)-led LDF supported the Supreme Court verdict to allow women in the temple, who were earlier prohibited from doing so. Referring to the Sabarimala issue, Vijayan said that the Gods at Sabarimala “Ayyappa, and the legion of Devas are with the LDF because this Government stood with the people in crisis”. He also emphasised how his government served people and came to their aid during floods and in handling the coronavirus pandemic situation in the state.
Adding to the CM’s remark, CPI(M) Secretary, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, said: “If Gods had votes, LDF would have got their votes en bloc. The government has given protection to all. The faithful are coming out in large numbers in support of LDF.’’
Taking a shot at Vijayan’s statement, G Sukumaran Nair, general secretary of Nair Service Society (NSS) said: “People expect a change of regime. A government that protects faith and social justice should come into power. For some time now, there is the protest of the faithful.’’ NSS is a religious organisation which represents upper-caste Nairs and staunchly opposed the Supreme Court verdict in case of the Sabarimala issue.
The list of attackers also included former chief minister Oommen Chandy who said that Vijayan’s statement showed that he was “afraid” of the verdict. He said, “He is seeking support from God, fearing defeat. Nobody is going to acknowledge Vijayan’s stand on polling day. The present stand of Vijayan, who has taken young women to Sabarimala with a police escort, is surprising everyone. If he was sincere on the issue, Vijayan should have withdrawn the affidavit the LDF government had given in the Supreme Court (favouring the entry of women of all ages).”
BJP state president K Surendran also slammed Kerala CM equating his support for the apex court’s verdict with the deed of an “Asura (demon)”. “The somersault of Vijayan on polling day is not going to help the LDF. The people of Kerala will not forget the heinous act of Vijayan. He had taken atheist women to the shrine with police protection. After ensuring their entry, Vijayan had challenged the faithful,’’ said Surendran.