The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala has complained to the State Election Commission saying that the announcement of the Chief Minister that COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed for free is a violation of the code of conduct. UDF Convenor MM Hassan, in the complaint filed on Sunday, alleged that the CM's announcement is aimed at luring the voters ahead of phase three and four of local body polls.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in a COVID-19 update press meet said that the vaccine for the COVID-19 will be made available free of cost for all in the state. The local body polls in the state are ongoing and the third and final phase will be conducted on Monday. "The announcement is a violation of the code of conduct of the elections. The announcement made on the final day of the campaign of the elections is aimed at luring the voters," Hassan's complaint to SEC V Bhaskaran reads. The BJP has also complained to the SEC againstt the CM.
It also says that the state government hasn't received any clear information on the availability of the vaccine from the Union Government. "Neither the Health Department has conceived any plan to distribute the vaccine once it's available," the letter that urges the SEC to take action against the CM reads.
Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President Mullappally Ramachandran has also said that the announcement is a violation of the code of conduct. In a press statement Mullappally said that the attempt of the CPI(M) to simplify the violation and confuse voters won't work.
Pinarayi had said that no one will be charged for the vaccine and that is the stand of the government. The CM had also said that the quantity of the vaccine that would be allotted to the state by the Centre is not yet known.
He had also said that though it's a matter of relief that the COVID-19 cases are decreasing, it needs to be seen if the local body polls would contribute to an increase.