Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Pinarayi Vijayan might have faced country-made gun, but continues to elude media

  The exploits of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan that catapulted him to fame in a relatively short period seems to be fading away by his persistent avoidance of media for the past 150 days. 

Stories of him single-handedly fighting all forms of attack, including baring his chest before a country-made gun, are all history.

An incident not many know of is few decades ago he told a local ‘goon’ in Kannur, if he has the guts pull the trigger of the country made gun that was pointed on his chest and he did that, but the trigger failed to work and Vijayan escaped, but now many are baffled on why he is continuing to duck the media.

On Sunday it will be 150 days since he has interacted with the media.

His political foes point credit his successive term in office, a first of its kind in Kerala in 2021, to his deft handling of the media soon after the Covid pandemic broke out in March 2020.

Thanks to those who handled his media management, even though, he was reluctant to meet the media, but when the fact was pointed out to him, that the then Health Minister K.K.Shailaja who first appeared for the daily briefing was gaining huge praise and global media attention, out came Vijayan and for close to an year it was his hour long press conference.

This led to the biggest TRP as people remained glued to the TV sets to hear from him on daily Covid scenarios.

The way he handled the media also has now become a subject of close study as he spoke for almost 50 minutes and limited the questions to a minimum and on the dot at 7 p.m. irrespective of the probing media, he would switch off the mike and walk away.

It was all round kudos for his effort and there were quite a few announcements which won him accolades.

After three years, one such promise that waits to see the light of the day is his announcement that Kerala will enter vaccine manufacturing, when news surfaced that there might arise a scenario, that Covid vaccines might be in short supply.

But Vijayan after knowing that the job has been successfully done, when he for the first time led the CPI(M)- led Left Democratic Front and registered a stellar win in the 2021 Assembly polls, he went back to his old stand, that he will speak only when he wishes to speak to the media and not when the media wants him to speak.

Incidentally, the last time Vijayan met the media was on February 9 and one reason why he chose to duck the media after that was a week after his former secretary and senior IAS official M.Sivasankar retired from service he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate and till date he continues to be in jail.

After that came the massive allegation by the prime accused in the gold smuggling case- Swapna Suresh who claimed that Vijayan and his entire family were involved in smuggling of gold and currencies and her challenge to him to file defamation against her.

The Congress-led opposition in Kerala time and again takes a dig at the chief minister that all the old time stories of his yesteryear are nothing but a “bluff “. Leader of Opposition V.D.Satheesan and Vijayan’s arch political rival- State Congress president K. Sudhakaran never miss a single opportunity to call him a “coward”.

So the million dollar question is when will Vijayan meet the media as when it happens, it’s going to get an all-time high TRP rating.

Now, with the chief minister undergoing a full course ayurvedic treatment at his official residence, his much awaited meeting with the media might take longer.

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