As the Centre's Vande Bharat mission is in progress evacuating Indian nationals from various parts of the world, the BJP has alleged that the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Kerala government is trying to sabotage the mission. BJP has decided to launch a one-week campaign against the Kerala government's policy on expatriates. BJP state chief K Surendran has slammed the state government stating that the government is trying to sabotage the Vande Bharat Mission.
"Day by day Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is himself creating troubles for the 'pravasis' whereas the Central government is trying to bring back all 'pravasis' who want to return to Kerala while the state government is blocking many measures. So, the BJP is planning to have a series of agitations against this anti-pravasi policy of Kerala government," said Surendran.
''Actually, the state government initially sent a letter to the Central government stating that before returning to the state, people should undergo the COVID-19 test in foreign countries. One more thing they demanded was the use of PPE kits for the passengers arriving. Both these demands were rejected by the Centre," said Surendran.
"This is a cheap PR work by Pinarayi Vijayan. Everybody knows what they are doing in the Vande Bharat Mission repatriation initiative. Day by day, he is creating lots of troubles. So, we are having a one-week-long campaign against the state government's policy," he added.
Earlier, the Kerala government imposed a set of new guidelines for expatriates from the Gulf countries returning to the state by Vande Bharat Mission flights and chartered aircraft, to which the Ministry of External Affairs had clarified that state-specific protocols cannot be implemented amid lockdown, adding that it will only allow the protocols issued by the Union Home and Health ministries.
Kerala had reported over a hundred COVID-19 cases for the seventh consecutive day on Thursday, taking the total number of infections in the state to 3,876. 1,846 are active cases in the state undergoing treatment whereas 2008 have been cured of the virus. The state has reported 22 fatalities due to COVID-19 as per Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
(With ANI inputs)