Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had said during his Kerala visit that the blaming comments made by Union Minister Vardhan on the state’s COVID-19 situation was unfortunate.

Pinarayi Vijayan sits on an office chair and speaks in front of a microphone
news Politics Friday, October 23, 2020 - 12:21

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan appreciated Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s take, disagreeing with the comments made by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan about the spike in COVID-19 cases in the state.

The CM said that Rahul Gandhi, who was on a three-day visit to his Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency, had on Tuesday appreciated Kerala as he had an understanding of the health sectors of other states.

Being a senior leader of the Congress, the former party chief was someone who observed the COVID-19 situation across the country, CM Pinarayi said.

With Kerala witnessing a spurt in fresh infections of late, Minister Vardhan had recently said the state was "paying the price for gross negligence" during Onam festivities when unlocking of services along with an increase in travel for trade and tourism led to the spread of COVID-19.

"It's an unfortunate comment. The whole nation has to fight this disease together. I don't think it's appropriate to blame someone or the other," Rahul Gandhi had said at Wayanad.

Meanwhile the state Congress leaders had criticised the ruling party over the same remarks made by the Union Minister. Leader of Opposition in the state, Ramesh Chennithala, later remarked that there was no need for a leader like Rahul Gandhi to comment on regional issues. “We are there for that,” Ramesh Chennithala said.



CM Pinarayi, on asked about it, said that that was an issue between the Congress leaders and he didn’t have to comment about it.

The state Congress has been accusing the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government of mishandling the COVID-19 pandemic leading to a rise in cases and Rahul Gandhi's remarks appear to have put them on a spot.

"It seems like he (Rahul Gandhi) appreciated the state health sector based on his experience from observing the health scenario of various other states. I am not commenting on whether the opposition leader agrees to Rahul Gandhi's statement or not. It's a matter between them," the Chief Minister told reporters.

However, Ramesh Chennithala later issued a statement, rejecting as baseless the reports on his remark that Rahul Gandhi need not comment on regional issues.

"The report that I made a comment that Rahul Gandhi need not express his opinion in regional matters, is baseless. Rahul Gandhi is a national leader. His opinions are not regionalised. His perspective is from a national level. What I meant was his opinion should be seen like that," Chennithala said.

He also said that Rahul Gandhi had only opined that there was no need for a blame game between the Centre and the state government and it was not an appreciation.

(With PTI input)

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