COVIDIOT: Union minister accuses Kerala CM of violating COVID-19 protocol
Kozhikode, Apr 15: The BJP on Thursday accused Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan of violating the COVID-19 protocol, alleging the senior CPI(M) leader hid from the public the fact that he was a primary contact of his virus infected daughter and carried out a massive roadshow two days ahead of the April 6 state Assembly polls.
The issue triggered a row in the state with a war of words erupting between Union Minister V Muraleedharan who described Vijayan as a "COVIDIOT" and Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja who defended the chief minister, describing as baseless the BJP leader's allegations.
Muraleedharan also demanded legal action against Vijayan for flouting the COVID protocol. "Kerala CM @VijayanPinarayi is a #COVIDIOT.There is no better word to describe a Chief Minister who continuously violates #COVID Protocols," Muraleedharan said in a tweet.
The allegations came a day after the chief minister, who had tested positive for COVID-19, was discharged from the government medical college here. Muraleedharan claimed that the doctors treating Vijayan at the medical college had said that he had contracted COVID-19 on April 4.
"If it is true then why did the chief minister attend an election roadshow attended by thousands of people (in his assembly constituency Dharmadom)," the Minister of State for External Affairs said. Talking to reporters in New Delhi, Muraleedharan alleged that the CPI(M) leader cast his vote on April 6 without following COVID-19 protocol.
He claimed that the chief minister walked about 500 metres from his home where his virus infected daughter was staying to reach the polling booth to cast his vote. "The blatant violation of #COVID19 protocols by @VijayanPinarayi & his daughter is a total disgrace. They let the entire state down and set a shameful example," Muraleedharan said.
The BJP leader alleged that the chief minister's wife, who was also a COVID-19 patient, accompanied the CM in his car without maintaining social distancing norms on his being discharged from the hospital yesterday. Rejecting the allegations, Health Minister KK Shailaja claimed that the chief minister did not violate the COVID protocol.
"There is no violation. I don't know on what basis Muraleedharan is making such statements. Those patients who have quarantine facilities at their home are allowed to go. The chief minister is continuing to be in quarantine at his home," she told reporters.
The minister also rejected Muraleedharan's allegation that the CM's daughter had tested positive for the virus on April 4, saying she was infected with the virus on April 6.
Muraleedharan hit back at Shailaja, saying she was misleading people with "half-cooked info" to protect the chief minister from legal action. "In an attempt to protect @vijayanpinarayi's #COVID violations @shailajateacher is misleading people with half-cooked info on #COVIDProtocols." "If a Health Minister cannot understand @ICMRDELHI revised guidelines,how can she help people? Their ego & arrogance costing lives. Shame!" he tweeted.