From Lavalin to personal allegations concerning family members, the resumed daily press briefing of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday gave him a platform to hit back at his detractors.
The daily press briefing in the evening is back after a week before it was stopped on grounds that the coronavirus situation in the State had improved, though it was felt that embarrassing questions regarding deal in sharing health data with a private firm and also attempts to link Pinarayi’s family with the company made him back out of the daily press briefing.
On Thursday, after the announcement of 10 new COVID-19 cases in the State and other steps being initiated by the government as part of the lockdown, the Chief Minister finally began taking questions from the media, seen as the `juicy’ part of the presser.
On reports of ruling front partner CPI unhappy with the firm Sprinklr for data-sharing as both the Cabinet as also the LDF was not posted about things and party state secretary Kanam Rajendran discussing the matter with his CPM counterpart Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Pinarayi said that it was normal for front party leaders to meet and hold discussions and nothing much should be attributed to it.
He then went into his usual style and when asked about the data deal, he quipped that raising such charges against his family was nothing new and he as also his party had proved them baseless. He asked media if they knew about `Kamala International’ a firm that several unfortunately linked to his wife Kamala.
“This is nothing new. There have been several such allegations like the Lavalin one and even the vigilance probe initiated during the UDF rule had found him not guilty. Yet there have been demands for a CBI probe,” PInarayi said.
He said he was not willing to be dragged into such issues as he had successfully dealt with more serious charges as there was nothing for him to feel guilty. But Kerala waits for the daily briefing, at least the last few minutes when Pinarayi makes it a point to take on all in the opposition camp.