After Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) approached the State Election Commission (SEC) office alleging that Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has violated the model code of conduct by promising free Covid-19 vaccine here amid local body polls, the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) on Sunday issued a clarification saying that it is a promise made in the election manifesto.
The LDF convener A Vijayaraghavan, as quoted in a party statement, came in Vijayan''s defence saying that the latter has not violated any rules.
"The Chief Minister, who is also the leader of the Front, has not violated any rules. It is a promise made in LDF election manifesto. While the code of conduct exists, the cabinet should not announce any decisions on new projects. Kerala Chief Minister has only clarified the stand on Covid vaccine in the press meet," Vijayaraghavan said.
He said the LDF manifesto has unequivocally stated that the Government of Kerala, which has provided Covid-19 treatment free of cost, will follow the same policy in the case of a vaccine.
"Alleging violation of election code of conduct against the Chief Minister is inhumane. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala from Congress and BJP state president K Surendran came out against Pinarayi like Siamese twins. The news is that the vaccine can cost up to Rs 1,000 per person. The Prime Minister has not yet made it clear that the vaccine will be provided free of cost to all the people of the country. It is in that context that the Chief Minister announced that free vaccine will be given to all in Kerala," Vijayaraghavan added.
This comes a day after Vijayan announced that coronavirus vaccine will be provided free of cost in the state. The announcement comes at a time when local body elections are going on in the state. (ANI)