Swearing-in on Thursday with 500 invitees, says Vijayan
Thiruvananthapuram, May 17, 2021
Deflecting criticism of the arrangements of the swearing-in ceremony for his second term in office, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday said it will be held at the Central Stadium on Thursday at 3 p.m. with only 500 attendees.
Ever since the makeshift, over 70,000 square feet pandal began coming up at the stadium, there was widespread criticism, especially on the social media, with various people demanding that the rule of law should be applicable to all. With rumours that there would be 750 people present, they said such a function was not fair when the capital district is under triple lockdown.
Justifying the move, Vijayan said: "The cabinet consists of 21 people and the invitees include 140 legislators, 29 MPs, the judiciary, media and top officials. All those who are coming should have a Covid negative test result taken 48 hours before or should have taken both doses of the vaccine."
He contended that there is every reason to celebrate "as this is a historic win which was made possible because of the people".
"But given the Covid scenario, celebrations are not possible. We know what the mood of the people is because in 2016, at the same venue when the present government was sworn in, there were 40,000 and this time had it been normal times, the stadium would have been overflowing. We know the emotions and feelings of our supporters and it is there in our hearts. We will have to wait and as time passes, the present situation will also change and then we can (have such a celebration)," added Vijayan.
Incidentally, earlier in the day, there was a meeting of the Left Democratic Front leaders at the CPI-M party headquarters here and a picture of Vijayan cutting a cake was shared by the leaders and drew instant criticism on social media in view of the state government orders that there should be no political gatherings.