Thiruvananthapuram: The BJP is desperately trying to encash the Sabarimala row to get a foothold in Kerala. But it is unlikely that it would be able to benefit in electoral terms from the controversy in the 2019 General Elections.
The BJP may have become the largest political party in the country but it is yet to be accepted by the residents of God’s own country. It is yet to win any Lok Sabha seat from the state.
More than half of the Keralites are Hindus
Around 54 per cent of Kerala’s population is Hindu while the Muslims and the Christians form 26 per cent and 18 per cent of the population respectively. The BJP is hoping that the Sabarimala issue would polarise the Hindu voters and thus help it electorally. That is why; the state unit of the party is planning to intensify the agitation against the Supreme Court judgment, allowing women of menstruating age-group to enter the temple. Top state party leaders have already begin fast-unto-death outside the Secretariat complex in the capital, demanding that the age-old ban should not be lifted.
Congress says that the BJP is only trying to whip up communal frenzy. “If the party is really so worried about the Sabarimala pilgrims, why its government doesn’t promulgate an ordinance to neutralise the SC verdict?” asks Congress MP AK Antony.
According to senior journalist and political analyst VRP Bhaskar, the Sabarimala row would be a factor in the polls but a minor one. “It would become stale by that time,” he said.
BJP state chief PS Shridharan Pillai denies that his party is trying to use the issue to gain political mileage. “We will seek votes in the name of the development brought about by the Modi government,” he said.
(Story: JC Shibu)