As Pinarayi Vijayan looses cool, social media has a ball

Thiruvananthapuram, April 17 (IANS) This was bound to happen, as people in Kerala, who have been glued to the TV for the daily corona updates, watched it when Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced that the daily press briefings, which were there on all working days since Covid-19 took a heavy toll, won't be there with this frequency.

Within a few hours after Vijayan made this announcement on Thursday , it has now become the topic of trolls in the social media.

Those who know Vijayan and have followed his political growth trajectory, know that he has never been the darling of the media and the vice versa and due to that, whenever he blew his top, it was a field day for the Television channels.

Vijayan unlike his predecessors ( A.K. Antony, V.S. Achuthanandan and to a certain extent Oommen Chandy (in his initial political career) was never ever a media creation.

Instead, he worked hard and his rough and tough demeanour was his hallmark which kept him in good stead, especially the 17 long years he was the state CPI-M secretary, till he stepped down in 2015.

By then the party across all levels was firmly in his grip and now, in the four years of being at the helm of the state, both the party and the government is at his full command, a phenomenon, perhaps only Congress veteran K. Karunakaran had for some time in his political career.

Incidentally, Vijayan soon after taking over as Chief Minister, four years back, he wound up the customary weekly post-cabinet meeting press briefing, that was in vogue in the state for several decades, making his intentions quite clear to the media that he will not be cowed down by the fourth estate's arm twisting tactics.

Since then, it was Vijayan who had the upper hand and on numerous occasions he chased away the media, at times very rudely, when they came for taking Television bytes.

Whenever he lost his cool, it was a field day for TV news channels as now everything happens in the social media.

Incidentally, after Covid-19 struck first in Kerala (in the country) on January 30, the state which boasts of the best three tier health system in the country and with the local self government and the health department working with perfect harmony, Kerala has now become the cynosure of the world, on how it has been tackling and containing the Covid-19 pandemic.

After Covid-19 was declared pandemic and Kerala's stock rising on how it managed to combat the spread, Vijayan took the charge. Till then, State Health Minister K.K. Shailaja, was taking all the accolades, as her history of handling the Nipah outbreak a few years back had won her a fame.

Now it is Vijayan only, who addresses the media, with Shailaja, State Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekheran and Chief Secretary Tom Jose just sitting on the dais along with him, watching Vijayan, with ease explaining the nitty gritties of how he and his government has been handling this pandemic.

After a week, the daily press briefing of Vijayan turned out to be the most rated programme as Keralite's wherever they were, watched him.

Those who know Vijayan quite well, were perplexed with the poise and maturity, which was considered unlike of him. This left many wondering, whether this was a stage managed act and Vijayan's public appearance, are now guided by a Public Relations firm.



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