Kerala Kaumudi Online
Friday, 30 July 2021 5.06 PM IST

More come in trains than flights, discrimination only towards expats, Chennithala to fast tomorrow in protest against govt’s stand


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Congress in Kerala on Thursday slammed the Pinarayi Vijayan government which has badly let down the Kerala diaspora waiting to return from abroad.

Speaking to the media here, opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said Pinarayi is good at rhetoric, but there is no action and as a result thousands of Kerala diaspora waiting to return is facing fresh hurdles.

"While Pinarayi himself says 60 per cent of those who come from within the country to Kerala are coming from red zones in trains and now in flights too. But for them there are no restrictions, while harsh and illogical conditions of carrying a Covid negative certificate is being insisted from all the diaspora returning from abroad. One fails to understand the rationale behind Pinarayi insisting for a Covid negative certificate," said Chennithala.

It was on Wednesday after the weekly cabinet meeting that Pinarayi staunchly batted for a Covid negative certificate from all diaspora and without it, none will be able to board the air craft.

He went on and placed the ball in the court of the Centre demanding that its they who will have to make the arrangements for testing those who are booked to travel.

Chennithala said tall and lofty promises were often made by Pinarayi whenever he presides over meetings of diaspora here or abroad.

" The Norka-Roots (the state body of the diaspora) has just done the job of opening a website for registration, while the Loka Kerala Sabha - (a pet programme of Pinarayi wherein he selected representatives of various diaspora bodies and held two rounds of sessions, similar to an assembly session) also has done nothing to help the diaspora. Pinarayi has to shed this anti-diaspora feeling," said Chennithala.

Two time former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said Pinarayi should not forget an assembly resolution that was passed in March demanding bringing back all our people without conducting a test.

Reeling out statistics, Chandy questioned the rational of Pinarayi saying by now 1.5 per cent of the diaspora who have returned have tested positives for coronavirus.

“This is not true, by now 84,195 of our diaspora have returned and 713 of them have become positive, according to Pinarayi’s figures. If one looks into the percentage this is just 0.85 per cent and not 1.5 per cent as said by Pinarayi. All are baffled in the way Pinarayi’s stand against the diaspora has changed in three months’ time, when our own assembly passed the resolution to bring back all our people without testing," said Chandy.

"The tall promises made by Pinarayi about all facilities are ready in Kerala for 2.50 lakh diaspora and all the tests would be done for free have all disappeared. It should not be forgotten by now 277 of our people have died abroad, added Chandy.

More than two lakh people are now registered to return from abroad.

Chennithala to protest this antipathy by Pinarayi towards the diaspora is to stage a day long protest in front of the State Secretariat on Friday.

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