The BJP expected that the agitations over Sabarimala women’s entry issue would work in its favour to win at least two seats from Kerala in the Lok Sabha polls.

However, it is Congress-led UDF which reaped the benefits of the Sabarimala issue The BJP did its best to paint the ruling Left government as anti-Hindu and had strongly hoped to open its account in Kerala, but the results clearly do not match the party’s expectations.

Despite the party’s attempt to consolidate and capture the Hindu vote by agitating against the Supreme Court’s verdict allowing women of all age groups to enter the temple, the BJP has not managed to win a single seat the state.

It appears that Lord Ayyappa, the deity of the Sabarimala shrine has blessed not the ones who vociferously campaigned for him. Instead, He blessed the Congress, which played its cards cleverly with the campaign ‘with temple worshippers and devotees’ at the height of the Sabarimala protest.

More than NarendraModi’s development schemes such as PM Ujjwala Yojana, PM Fasal Bima Yojana,the BJP focused on Sabarimala issue during the poll campaigns. The state unit had informed the party central leadership that it would be able to make gains out of the widespread dissatisfaction among the Hindu community over the issue.

The Congress reaped the benefits of the Sabarimala issue in which the BJP was vociferous and fought it out on the streets resulting in hundreds of party workers being jailed. It is to be noted that around 40,000 BJP/ RSS workers were arrested in connection with the Sabarimala agitation during the Sabarimala season from October 16, 2018, to January 15, 2019.

In this connection, senior BJP leader O Rajagopal MLA on Friday said that BJP didn’t get any benefit from the Sabarimala agitations in the Lok Sabha polls, it is Congress led UDF which reaped the benefits of the agitation.

“The Sabarimala protests benefitted the UDF, not the BJP. That’s why even in Pathanamthitta K Surendran was pushed down to third place,” said Rajagopal.

Political observers feel that the consolidation of minority and majority votes in favour of the Congress-led UDF, obviously for different reasons, contributed to the huge victory of the UDF in the state.

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