Kerala Election Commission has directed the state to stop the special rice distribution in the state and it can resume from April 1. Earlier, the Kerala government’s ‘Vishu kit’ distribution came under fire for allegedly trying to influence voters, and it was planned for March-end. Following the latest direction, the state government will legally challenge the Election Commission’s decision to stop the distribution of rice to white and blue ration cardholders.
Following the allegations of having blocked the rice to the needy, Kerala Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala claimed that the real rice blocker is Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. “After having stopped the rice distribution until now, the CM is trying to convert Kerala people’s poverty into votes. This was a deliberate action to fool the people of the state, and this is what I wanted to block,” said Ramesh.
Addressing a press meet in Alappuzha, the senior Congress leader asked a few hard-hitting questions at Pinarayi Vijayan. “Who blocked the ration rice for children from September till March? Who is the CM trying to fool by hoarding the ration rice for weeks and then distributing it days away from the election? Isn’t this a clear violation of the Model Code of Conduct? The government claims that they are distributing the special kits as part of Vishu. However, isn’t it enough to distribute the Vishu kits after April 6 since the festival is only on April 14,” asked Ramesh.
However, Pinarayi Vijayan said that it is “tantamount to demeaning the people of Kerala by claiming that they could be influenced by a few ration kits”. “The Sangh Parivar is trying to establish that the kits belong to the Center. Meanwhile, the opposition is trying to attack the government by blocking the kits. The distribution is not done with the election in mind, since it is unfortunate that Vishu and Easter have been tied up with the polls,” the LDF leader said.
Pinarayi Vijayan also said that the Opposition Leader, who is cutting off food and pensions, is trying to become the Centre’s spokesman and the UDF is becoming the instrument for Sangh Parivar to destroy Kerala. “UDF MLAs are attributing their achievements to projects implemented by KIIFB in their constituencies. Meanwhile, the LDF government did not stop developments due to natural calamities and they continued unabated thanks to the funding through KIIFB,” the CM added.