On Monday, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) unit in Kerala condemned Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for not taking part in the video conference meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the deadly COVID-19 crisis in the country.
The party's state chief K Surendran said that where the entire country was fighting the coronavirus pandemic together, it was “inappropriate” of the Kerala chief minister to miss the meeting.
“Kerala chief minister said he had attended the last meeting and hence he did not attend today’s meeting. However, most of the chief ministers, who attended the last meeting, had attended Monday’s meeting. While the whole country is fighting the pandemic together, his absence cannot be justified,” Surendran said in a statement.
However, Vijayan, in his daily COVID-19 evaluation press meet clarified that on Sunday the Union cabinet secretary had informed that only a few chief ministers will get the chance of speaking at the video conference meeting.
The Prime Minister and the heads of other states discussed several important issues pertaining to the current crisis. Kerala was the only state not represented by its chief minister but the state's Chief Secretary Tom Jose participated in the conference.
Talking to the chief ministers through video conferencing, PM Modi said they are in a better position to gauge the coronavirus situation since they are “acquainted with the ground realities”. He said that state authorities can aid in tracking and identifying how the highly infectious virus is spreading to new areas, the reason behind its spread, and the mental stress that people are facing, people aware of the content of the meeting reported.
Apart from the chief ministers, the meeting also saw in attendance Home Minister Amit Shah, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, and top officials from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and Union Health Ministry.