CM’s announcement of free Covid vaccine is violation of poll code

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Pinarayi Vijayan and Ramesh Chennithala

Thiruvananthapuram: The UDF filed a complaint with the Election Commission against chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The chief minister who announced that Covid vaccine would be made available to all free of cost was violation of poll code and the UDF lodged a complaint against this. Deputy leader of Assembly council of Congress K C Joseph filed the complaint with the SEC.

“The announcement made by the chief minister was violation of poll code. There was no urgent need to make this announcement at this juncture. The CM was trying to woo voters through this. The UDF and its allies had earlier requested the government to give the Covid vaccine free to all. When the vaccine would be made available or when it would start rolling in Kerala is still unknown. Hence announcing this just hours before the campaigning ends is violation of poll code,” the UDF alleged.

The CM said in Kannur on Saturday that no one will be charged for the vaccine and this is the stand of the government. The government does not plan to make money from providing this vaccine. However, the quantity of vaccine that would be allotted to the state is yet to be made clear. The Oxford vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute in Pune would be made available. The vaccine would cost Rs 500 to Rs 1000 and this would be given free to all, the chief minister had said.

When the election code of conduct comes into effect, the government is forbidden to announce any new projects or proposals and if they have to do it, then prior permission from the state election commission must be obtained. If any complaints are filed, then the Election Commission can initiate action.

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