Kerala

Cong. uses Moideen to target govt.

The Minister had visited a quarantine centre in Thrissur on May 8

The public foray of Minister for Local Self-Government A.C. Moideen in the time of the COVID-19 lockdown appeared to have come as an opportunity for the Congress to put the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government on the defensive.

The Congress has attempted to make a political issue out of Mr. Moideen’s televised appearance at a quarantine centre for Non-Resident Keralites in Thrissur on May 8.

The party has accused the Minister of having attempted to reap political dividend during national adversity by giving the short shrift to universal pandemic prevention precautions.

Mr. Moideen represents the Kunnamkulam Assembly constituency in the district from where several of the arrivals hailed. Five of them, later, tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, raising the spectre that Mr. Moideen, who attends Cabinet meetings alongside Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, may have risked exposure.

The Political Affairs Committee (PAC) of the party, which met here on Saturday, reportedly took umbrage at the decision of the district health authorities in Thrissur to waive quarantine for Mr. Moideen in what it described as a politically partisan move to avoid an embarrassment to the government.

It pointed out that the decision to insulate Mr. Moideen from enforced isolation contrasted with the government’s insistence that the Congress leaders, who had visited the Walayar check-post in Palakkad purportedly to highlight the plight of stranded Keralites, go into quarantine.

Congress MPs T.N. Prathapan, Ramya Haridas and V.K. Sreekandan have isolated themselves at home. So have MLAs Anil Akkara and Shafi Parambil.

Mr. Vijayan had said the government had advised the Congress leaders to go into quarantine as part of the protocol. A medical board had found that Mr. Moideen did not require isolation.

However, the Congress has not bought the argument. Mr. Pratapan said political animus had prompted the government to take Congress MPs and MLAs out of action. The government did not want Opposition leaders to listen to the woes of the people or highlight issues that challenged the narrative of the ruling front.

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Mullappally Ramachandran has directed the Thrissur and Palakkad district committees of the party to take the issue to the people.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 8:13:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/cong-uses-moideen-to-target-govt/article31608911.ece

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