Two weeks after the Kerala government denied permission to the BJP to hold its core committee meeting in Kochi, citing Covid-19 lockdown, the Kerala government allowed the Congress party to hold the coronation ceremony for its new state unit president K Sudhakaran in the presence of thousands of supporters.
According to the reports, more than 1,500 Congress party workers gathered inside the Indira Bhavan in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday to cheer for Congress leader K Sudhakaran as he took charge as the Kerala Congress president. The Congress party workers violated social distance norms and showed little respect for the Covid-19 protocols on Wednesday.
In the below video, one can see how hundreds of Congress party workers had thonged inside the Indira Bhawan in the state capital to participate in the coronation of K Sudhakaran, violating all the Covid-19 norms.
The party members who had gathered at the party headquarters violated the Covid-19 protocols. The attendees did not observe social distancing, and several people removed face masks, reports New Indian Express.
Congress leaders themselves violated protocols
Many leaders, including former CM Oommen Chandy, were seen not wearing masks properly inside the hall. Almost all leaders, including Sudhakaran and former opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, removed their masks while addressing the gathering.
Around 500 followers of the 73-year-old Congress leader, who was picked by the party high command to replace Mullappally Ramachandran, entered the 350-seat conference hall. At the same time, thousands gathered outside the Congress headquarters to celebrate the event.
The crowd began to grow in strength outside the gate of Indira Bhavan, which prompted the party leaders to lock the gates. The other Congress workers who were denied entry inside the Congress headquarters stood on the Vellayamabalam-Sasthamangalam road, outside the compound.
Strangely, the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Kerala government allowed the political event to be organised in the state capital amidst the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, the Kerala government granted security to the Congress party’s event by deploying Kerala police officials. The permission to the Congress party’s event comes even as Kerala is struggling to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kerala govt denied permission to BJP, grants it to Congress
However, this came just a few weeks back after the Kerala government had denied similar permission to the Kerala BJP to hold its core committee meeting in Kochi.
The BJP meeting that was scheduled to be held on June 6 with just 12 attendees had to be shifted from the venue after the Kerala govt denied permission to the event citing Covid-19 restrictions. In fact, Kerala Police had issued a notice to the hotel in Kochi in which a core committee of the state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was to be held.
The notice read, “One should not give permission to conduct meetings without maintaining Covid protocol in the wake of lockdown that still exists in Kerala. If any action from you violates Covid protocol, strict actions will be taken.” The notice, addressed to the manager of the hotel, was served by the SHO of the Ernakulam Central Police Station.
As the Kerala government intervened, the BJP leadership was forced to cancel the meeting and shift the meeting to another venue on short notice.
The Kerala government, two weeks later, has chosen to remain silent on the Congress party’s political event that featured hundreds of party workers violating the Covid-19 protocols. Perhaps, the Kerala government enforces different rules for different political parties based on its preferences.
Kerala government registers a complaint against Congress
Meanwhile, following the outrage against the Kerala government for allowing the Congress party to hold a large-scale political event, the Kerala police have registered a case under the Epidemic Diseases Act for violating Covid norms.
The local police claimed that they had issued a notice to the office that the function must be held with strict adherence to Covid protocol. However, the Congress party did not follow, it claimed.
“There were 150-200 people standing by the roadside outside the party office. They were booked for not following Covid protocol,” said Museum station house officer Prajeesh Sasi.
The six district-level leaders named in the FIR are Manacaud Suresh, Mannamoola Rajesh, Saju Kowdiar, Kallampalli Haridas, Palayam Udayan and Sudarsanan Peroorkada. However, the Kerala police have not named any senior leaders, including K Sudhakaran, in the FIR.