Thiruvananthapuram, May 25 (IANS) Breaking his silence, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday told those asking for his resignation after the Left Democratic Front’s (LDF) Lok Sabha polls debacle in the state that it was not a verdict against his government and therefore there was no question of him stepping down.
“This defeat was not expected and we see this only as a temporary setback. This verdict is not against our government and the question of stepping down does not arise,” Vijayan told reporters outside his office.
Of the 20 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala, the Left won just one — down from eight seats in the outgoing Lok Sabha, while Congress-led UDF won the rest. The BJP failed to open its account in the state.
The CPI-M State Committee is meeting for two days later this month to discuss the LDF election debacle.
Vijayan dismissed the role of the Sabarimala controversy in the elections. “If it was such a major election issue, how come the BJP, which claimed to win more than one seat, did not. Sabarimala was not an issue, but we will examine if the issue of faith was misconstrued by some,” he said.
On winning candidates attributing their victory to the Chief Minister’s style of working, a peeved Vijayan said: “All along, I have kept to one style and it will remain so. I am not going to change it.”
Told that his arrogance was also a point of discussion, he shot back: “Everything is known to the people.”
State BJP President P.Sreedharan Pillai laughed at Vijayan response and said the best way to describe Vijayan now was that he was “totally confused”.
“Their vote share has dropped 12 per cent as compared to the 2016 Assembly polls and he still says all this,” said Pillai.
Media critic S.Jaisankar said: “This can be best related to the statement made by former West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee in 2009, when the Left’s Lok Sabha tally in the state dropped. He said that has got nothing to do with the state government.”
“Look at what happened to the CPI-M after that. This statement by Vijayan is going to keep the Congress-led UDF in good humour, because they know what’s in store for them,” said Jaisankar.