Just two days before the third phase of local body polls, the chief minister on Saturday announced that his administration will provide free coronavirus vaccine to all the people free of cost.
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Days after Kerala chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced that his government will distribute coronavirus vaccine to the people of the state free of cost, the state election commission has sought an explanation on his promise that came days before the third phase of local bodies polls. The local body election was held in four districts — Malappuram, Kannur, Kozhikode and Kasaragod on Monday.
Just two days before the polls, the chief minister on Saturday announced that his administration will provide free coronavirus vaccine to all the people free of cost. He said it was not known how many doses of vaccine would be available for distribution in the state but the state will distribute the vaccine free of cost. “No fee will be levied,” he said.
Following this, the opposition Congress led UDF and BJP moved the State Election Commission alleging violation of Model Code of Conduct. Reports suggest that the Commission has sent a letter to Chief Minister Vijayan seeking his explanation on the issue and the circumstances under which he made free vaccine announcement.
According to The Indian Express, State Election Commissioner V Bhaskaran said the Commission has received complaints from the Congress and BJP. “The Commission would hear what the Chief Minister has to say on the issue. We have sought an explanation. The Chief Minister himself has to explain under which circumstances he had made the statement. The next step of action would be decided after getting the version of the Chief Minister,” Bhaskaran was quoted as saying by IE.
The chief minister has, however, justified his statement, saying he has not violated any code of conduct. He has stated that the coronavirus vaccine would be made available free of cost to the people of Kerala. He said that his government has been providing free treatment for coronavirus and the preventive medicine is part of that treatment. He said there was no violation of any model code of conduct. “It’s something which is going on in this state and I have not violated any code of conduct,” Vijayan said.