Distribution of special food kits for Vishu attempt to

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influence voters, says Cong; Kerala CM junks charge Kollam/Kannur,Mar 25 (PTI) Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala on Thursday claimed distribution of special provision kits for Vishu, the Malayalam new year which falls on April 14, just before the assembly polls, is a violation of the code of conduct and an attempt to influence voters, a charge denied by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

'The opposition has demanded that it be distributed after April 6 (polling day).

Does the Chief Minister think that he can influence the people by distributing all the food kits together just before the polls? Does the Chief Minister think that the people are fools? There is no problem, if the Vishu kit is given after April 6,' Chennithala, Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly, told a press conference at Kannur.

The free food kit distribution to 88 lakh families across Kerala started asa welfare measure to aid people when the state went into a lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

For the past nine months, each family in the state, including both below poverty line (BPL) and above poverty line (APL) ration card holders, had been receiving it.

The kit contains 17 ingredients.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, however, told the media at Kollam that the Congress mentioned about Vishu but forgot the Easter festival which is on April 4 and the Ramzan month which begins before April 14.

'During such a month, how can the opposition ask us not to give assistance to the people.We are not giving the kits for a few votes.These are for the welfare of the people as per a policy decision,' he said, adding the decision was not taken yesterday in view of the elections.

The Opposition wants to attack the government even though it is by making the people suffer, Vijayan said.

'During the floods, the Congress joined hands with the BJP to stop the assistance to the state government. Now, they are trying to stop the food kits and the social welfare pension (for the elderly),' he said.

He also attacked the opposition leader who had yesterday alleged that the left seems to have no hesitation in receiving the votes of BJP in Guruvayur and Thalassery constituencies where the nominations of BJP candidates were rejected due to technical errors.

'The UDF was not ready to say that they don't want the vote from communal elements. The Opposition leader had made it clear yesterday.

It means the UDF is expecting help from RSS.. the LDF does not need any support from any communal elements,' he added. PTI RRT BN BN