CM Pinarayi Vijayan offers free Covid-19 vaccine; opposition alleged breach of electoral conduct
As the Kerala local body elections are nearing its end, the LDF government has come under fire for having allegedly breached the election protocol. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had claimed in yesterday’s press conference that the state would be giving Covid-19 vaccine free in the state. The press conference followed the assessment of the Covid situation in Kerala, and Pinarayi Vijayan was answering a question from the reporters.
The opposition has gone up in arms about the claims and has written to the Election Commission citing that the CM’s claims are against election Model Code of Conduct. The CM made the claim a short while before campaigning ended in the last four districts of phase three, and as such, the opposition feels that Pinarayi’s “offer” of free vaccines might influence the voters. MLA KC Joseph had written a complaint to the Election Commission asking them to probe into the CM’s “offers” and to take necessary actions.
The same issue happened during the Bihar Assembly polls, where the BJP had a more explicit offer of free vaccine for votes, inviting the wrath of the opposition. Moreover, the same trend was followed by other states including Tamil Nadu.
Voters are getting ready to hit booths on Monday for the third phase of polling of the Kerala local body elections in Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur, and Kasargod. With this, Kerala would complete the polling, and counting would take place on December 16.