Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has rubbished claims made by RSS mouthpiece Organiser that Union Minister Smriti Irani had helped stranded migrant workers from Amethi in Rahul Gandhi’s constituency Waynad due to the coronavirus lockdown. Vijayan said that there was no truth in the claims made by the RSS mouthpiece and the report published by it was nothing but political propaganda.
The Organiser had claimed in its report on 6 April that Smriti Irani had helped ‘starving daily wagers of Amethi stranded in Rahul Gandhi’s Waynad constituency.’ Its report had added that Irani’s timely intervention had saved at least 35 migrant workers in Karuvarakundu in the Malappuram district of Kerala. The area falls under the parliamentary constituency of Rahul Gandhi, who lost his last Lok Sabha polls from Amethi to Irani.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the Kerala chief minister said that he had seen the report on Tuesday but ignored it since it was ‘propaganda’ run by the RSS. “Saw a propaganda piece being circulated through ”Organiser” of RSS saying that the timely intervention of Smriti Irani helped the starving workers from Amethi. Just want to make one thing clear. The State has been assisting the guest workers and all other hard-hit people of the state,” Vijayan was quoted by news agency PTI.
Vijayan, who’s earned plaudits from everyone for his efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus in his state, said that there must not be any ‘competition or misleading propaganda that might disrupt or undermine the efforts of the state.’
Irani and Gandhi are known to be fierce political rivals. After having lost to Gandhi in 2014, Irani defeated the Congress leader in his family fiefdom in Amethi.
According to the Union Health Ministry, India has registered more than 5,000 positive cases of COVID-19 with the number of deaths rising to 166. Kerala has reported 428 positive cases of coronavirus and three COVID-19 deaths.