Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has landed in trouble for his statement to make available free Covid-19 vaccine in the state as opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) and Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) on Sunday approached the state election commission accusing the CM of violating the model code of conduct in place for ongoing civic polls with his statement.
The opposition parties alleged that the Chief Minister’s statement was a violation of the Election Code of Conduct as local body elections are scheduled to be held on December 14 in the four northern districts. However, the ruling CPI (M) dismissed the allegations and termed it as “childish”
Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) convenor MM Hasan told reporters that the coalition has approached the state election commission as elections are going to be held in four districts and the announcement is a violation of the code of conduct.
MM Hassan wrote to State Election Commissioner V Bhaskaran, “Chief Minister’s announcement of free COVID-19 vaccine distribution is a violation of the model code of conduct as elections are underway. The announcement was made by the Chief Minister during the last day of campaigning for the third phase of the local body elections to influence voters.”
He said, “There was no such hurry to make such an announcement.” At the same time, senior Congress leader KC Joseph has also filed an online complaint in this regard with the Commission.
BJP state unit president K Surendran, in his complaint, alleged that by making such an announcement, the chief minister is trying to woo voters and this is clearly a violation of the code of conduct.
“The statement of Kerala CM that Covid-19 vaccine will be free in the state is a clear breach of model code of conduct. The BJP has given a complaint to the State Election Commission on this,” Kerala BJP president K Surendran said.
“The free #COVID19 vaccine announcement made by @VijayanPinarayi not only violates Code of Conduct but undermines the sanctity of the election process. The party, which went on a propaganda spree over #COVID19 containment couldn’t even wait for #LSGPolls to get over? Shame! @CMOKerala must be booked for violation of MCC,” Union Minister of State and BJP leader V Muraleedharan tweeted.
Meanwhile, CPI-M state secretary in charge A. Vijayaraghavan told reporters in Thrissur that the Chief Minister’s announcement was a part of the ongoing Kovid-19 treatment program in the state.
“Kerala Chief Minister’s response was obvious when media people asked him questions on the vaccine,” added Vijayaraghavan.
It is to be noted that that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Saturday that Kovid-19 vaccine will be made available free of cost to all people of Kerala.
Vijayan said on Saturday, ‘It is not known how many doses of the vaccine will be available for distribution in the state, but the state government will distribute it for free. No fee will be charged.
A similar announcement has been made by the governments of Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh before Kerala.
Chief Minister Vijayan said that the number of active cases of corona infectionon is gradually decreasing in the state.