Kerala CM spreading misinformation about evacuation, says junior MEAUpdated: May 05, 2020 23:42 IST
Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan on Tuesday accused Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan of spreading false information and said that his claim that the Union Government will be evacuating expatriates from West Asian countries without any tests is absurd.
“I don’t know why he is indirectly blaming the Centre like this. The standard operating procedure (SOP) is being prepared by the ICMR. Its SOP came late in the evening and the CM‘s version was based on some hearsay. We will bring back people only after tests,” he told Hindustan Times.
During his daily press briefing the CM said the Centre’s plan to bring back Indians stranded abroad without testing for coronavirus was fraught with heavy risks. He also said only 80,000 Indians will be evacuated and Kannur airport was left out of the evacuation itinerary.
“We never mentioned any numbers. A section of the medial is going all around with a draft prepared in the morning. That is not right. We will finalize all our plans later tonight. There is no confusion on our part. Let the CM check his facts first before giving sweeping statements,” he said
The junior foreign minister also said that all four international airports in Kerala including Kannur will be part of the evacuation exercise.
More than four lakh people have registered in an online portal which the state government launched last week to facilitate the return of Malayalees stranded in other countries. But the CM said the Centre has made it clear that such a massive evacuation was not possible at this juncture and people who are on priority list will be evacuated.
The central minister refuted that claim as well. “The Union Government did not say anything about this,” Muraleedharan insisted.