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‘Inappropriate’: Kerala BJP slams CM Pinarayi Vijayan for skipping PM Modi’s video conference

CM Vijayan in his daily press briefing on Coronavirus, said that the Union cabinet secretary had on Sunday informed that only a few chief ministers will have a chance to speak at the video conference.

SNS | New Delhi |

The Kerala BJP on Monday criticised Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for not participating in the video conference called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the situation arising due to the Coronavirus pandemic in the country with the Chief Ministers of the states.

As PM Modi on Monday held a video conference with Chief Ministers of various states to discuss how to go about the lockdown post May 3, whether to extend it or exit the 50-day lockdown imposed since March 25 to contain the Coronavirus pandemic, CM Vijayan did not attend the video-conference, making it the only state not being represented by it’s Chief Minister.

CM’s office had said that since he was not listed to speak at the conference, he did not attend the meeting instead the Chief Secretary Tome Jose attended the meeting.

BJP state chief K Surendran said while the whole country was fighting the pandemic together, it was “inappropriate” on part of the Kerala chief minister to miss the meeting.

Surendran said in a statement, “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.”

CM Vijayan in his daily press briefing on Coronavirus, said that the Union cabinet secretary had on Sunday informed that only a few chief ministers will have a chance to speak at the video conference.

“We were asked to share the topics which we would like to share in the video conference. We had informed the cabinet secretary about it on Sunday itself. The cabinet secretary had informed us that only a few chief ministers will get a chance to speak during the conference,”  Vijayan said.

Only nine CMs got the chance to speak during the video conference.

Kerala had informed the cabinet secretary about the concerns of the state government on Sunday itself.

Vijayan said at the press brief that  the state government had suggested that the lockdown could be extended partially till May 15.

This was PM Modi’s fourth such interaction with state Chief Ministers since March 22 when he first spoke to them on the coronavirus situation and steps taken, both by the Centre and the states to contain the pandemic.

The nationwide lockdown which was imposed on the country on February 25, for 21 days to curtail the spread of Coronavirus outbreak , was later extended on April 14, and will come to an end on May 3.