Chennai: Why has Tamil Nadu’s health minister C Vijayabaskar suddenly turned low profile in the past couple of days? This is the question that is being asked in the corridors of power as the otherwise flamboyant minister did not brief the media after two major events since Monday and even skipped a meeting with the Governor on Tuesday.
Hitherto, the minister had been briefing the media at least twice a day ever since the coronavirus outbreak set the government machinery whirring in combating the pandemic in the state, thus ensuring that he was on prime time television every night.
Always accompanied by the health secretary Beela Rajesh, the minister waxed eloquence on the various measures taken by the government and also on the detection of new cases of Covid-19 and earned praise from the public for the ‘good work’ that he was doing.
However, it would appear that the chief minister, Edappadi K Palanisamy, has taken over the responsibility of speaking to the media regarding the coronavirus developments in the state and the health secretary has been doing the regular briefings. This has led to tongues wagging at the government, sidelining the minister who was gaining personal popularity.
The speculation is that some senior leaders in the ruling party might have felt that Vijaya Bhaskar is getting too big for his shoes and wanted him to be stopped from stealing the limelight when the entire state is tuned to the media outlets for news relating to the coronavirus pandemic.
The two events that Vijayabaskar took part but did not speak to the media after that are the one relating to his taking WHO representatives to visit the facilities set up at the Tamil Nadu Government Multi Super Specialty Hospital at the Omandurar Estate.
Subsequently he attended a departmental event at the DMS complex, after which again he did not address the media. Also he did not call on the Governor after the meeting. The health secretary briefed the governor.
Palanisamy taking over the duty of informing the public on development in a major issue like Covid-19, however, goes back to the old time when it was always the chief minister who parted with all information of great importance.
Whatever happened behind the doors, Vijayabaskar is maintaining a low key even as his ministry is going all out in its efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus.