Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday debunked a media report stating that Union minister Smriti Irani had fed workers belonging to her parliamentary constituency of Amethi, who were stranded in Wayanad due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
RSS mouthpiece, 'Organiser' had on April 6 carried a report titled 'Smriti Irani helps starving daily wagers of Amethi stranded in Rahul Gandhi's Wayanad Constituency'.
The report said the minister's "timely intervention" had saved 35 migrant workers stranded in Karuvarakundu in Malappuram district of the state which falls under the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency of Congress MP Rahul Gandhi.
Vijayan, who met the media after the COVID-19 evaluation meet, said the news was noticed on Tuesday but he had ignored it as "propaganda''.
"When we enquired about it, we found that 41 guest workers (migrant workers) were staying together at a place and the panchayat officials had provided 25 kits to them as they had stated that they would cook for themselves. There was no shortage of food there," he said.
Vijayan, however, said he saw a news report from Delhi saying 'Help from Smriti reaches Wayanad' and 'Rahul helps Amethi'.
"Saw a propaganda piece being circulated through 'Organiser' of RSS saying that the timely intervention of Smriti Irani helped the starving workers from Amethi. Just want to make one thing clear. The State has been assisting the guest workers and all other hard-hit people of the state.," he said.
"There should be no competition or misleading propaganda that might disrupt or undermine the efforts of the state," he added.
On allegations that the state government was giving more importance to migrant workers, he said they were from the downtrodden section of the community and helping them was the society's responsibility.
"We feel that our motto, Atithi Devo Bhava, is something which we need to implement in our lives. We need to provide good food, accommodation and necessary medical help," the chief minister said.
The Centre has been requested to allot a special train for them so that they can return to their respective states once the lockdown is lifted, he said.
The state will also provide Rs 1,000 each to at least 10,000 artists who have applied to the government for help during the present circumstances....