THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Attempting to extricate the UDF from a Catch 22 situation after Rahul Gandhi’s comments were construed as an endorsement of the state government’s Covid management efforts, Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala said on Thursday that the national leader need not comment on local issues.
There are people in the state who can comment on such matters, Chennithala said in reply to questions over Rahul remarks, which came at a time when the Opposition has been blaming the LDF Government for its failure to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Later, Chennithala clarified in a press release that he meant to say that Rahul Gandhi, being a senior national leader, comments mostly on national issues. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan expressed happiness in the way a national leader like Rahul Gandhi had commented on the state government’s activities. During his three-day tour to his constituency — Wayanad — earlier this week, Rahul told reporters that the state and central governments are on a “blame game”.
On Thursday, Chennithala, said, “My opinion is that, a leader like Rahul should not comment on local issues. We are here to comment on such issues. We all have the same opinion in this matter. What he said was that there should not be a blame game and that included everything.”
‘Media twisted my words’
Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala later said the media twisted his words. The state government should not take pride on what Rahul Gandhi had said, he added. Pinarayi, while highlighting the need to maintain vigil in combating the pandemic, took a dig at Chennithala, saying the latter may not agree to what Rahul Gandhi said, but left it as an issue between the Congress leaders.
“The pilgrims coming to Sabarimala have undergone Covid-19 tests. Two pilgrims who took the tests earlier were confirmed to have the coronavirus which shows the vigil we all have to maintain. A national leader like Rahul Gandhi is aware of how things are done to combat the pandemic at a pan India level. Compared to other states, Kerala has been successful in combating it. Now, Chennithala may not agree to it, which is an issue between them,” the CM said.
Rahul’s remarks put Cong state unit in spot
During his three-day tour to his constituency — Wayanad — earlier this week, Rahul Gandhi told mediapersons that the state and central governments were playing a “blame game”. He also appreciated the state’s job so far.