The State Election Commission sought an explanation from Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday, 14 December, over complaints of violation of the model code of conduct.
The Kerala CM had on Saturday, announced that the COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed free of cost to all the people in the state. The statement received massive criticism from the opposition.
"The statement of Kerala CM that Covid-19 vaccine will be free in the state is a clear breach of model code of conduct. The BJP has given a complaint to the State Election Commission on this," Kerala BJP president K Surendran said.
State Election Commissioner V Bhaskaran said that the commission has received complaints from 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," he said.
The CM after casting his vote in Kannur on Tuesday morning, said that the vaccine would indeed be made available to the state and that he did not violate any code of conduct.
"We have been providing free treatment for COVID-19 and the preventive medicine is part of that treatment. We made it clear that it will be provided free of cost. There is 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," Kerala CM said.
A similar controversy broke out during Bihar assembly elections in October when the BJP in its manifesto promised free COVID-19 vaccines to residents of the state.
Responding to a complaint filed by an RTI activist, the Election Commission had then said the promise was not violative of the model code of conduct. However, the same promise made by the Kerala CM violates the model code of conduct.
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