The Congress-led United Democratic Front in Kerala has written to the State Election Commission alleging that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's announcement of free distribution of COVID-19 vaccine during a press conference on Saturday was allegedly a violation of the code of conduct during election.
"Chief Minister's announcement of free COVID-19 vaccine distribution is a violation of the model code of conduct as elections are underway. Announcement was made by the Chief Minister during last day of campaigning for third phase of the local body elections to influence voters," UDF Convenor MM Hassan wrote to State Election Commissioner V Bhaskaran.
UDF has asked for action against Mr Vijayan for alleged violation of the code of conduct.
The Left Democratic Front, the ruling alliance in Kerala, has reacted on the Chief Minister's statement on vaccination.
"Kerala Chief Minister's response was obvious when media people asked him questions on vaccine," said LDF convener and Communist Party of India general secretary, A Vijayraghavan.
The Chief Minister during a press conference on Saturday, in response to a question from a reporter, had said that COVID-19 vaccine in Kerala will not be charged and will be distributed for free.
"This (COVID-19 vaccination) is an important issue. This is one thing a majority of people are thinking now. There needn't be any doubt. While the extent of the availability of the vaccine for people in Kerala is an issue that needs to be looked into, but available vaccine will be provided for free. The government does not intend to take money for that (vaccination) from anyone. We will take steps for free distribution," Mr Vijayan had told reporters.
The three-phase local body election is underway in Kerala, with the last phase on Monday and counting on December 16. It's the last show of strength for political parties ahead of the assembly election next year.