New Delhi, September 9: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said the sudden COVID lockdown proved a death sentence for the unorganised sector and the third assault on the poor after the twin moves of demonetization and the Goods and Services Tax.
In a video posted on Twitter, Gandhi said the lockdown had severely affected the poor—those working in small and medium businesses who are daily wage earners.
“They eat with what they earn each day. When you announced a lockdown without a notice, you attacked them. The Prime Minister said the fight will be for 21 days, the backbone of the unorganized sector broke in 21 days,” Gandhi said adding that the COVID lockdown proved to be a death sentence for the poor.
He said when it was time to open after the lockdown, Congress told the government several times that helping the poor was essential.
“A scheme like NYAY will have to be implemented, money needs to be directly deposited in bank accounts. But they didn’t do it. We suggested that for small and medium businesses, you should prepare a package. They need to be saved. Without this money they will not be able to survive, but the government did nothing,” said Gandhi adding that instead of the government waived off taxes worth lakhs of crores of the “richest fifteen-twenty people”.
He said the lockdown was not an attack on coronavirus, it was an attack on the poor of India, on the future of the youth, on labourers, farmers and small shopkeepers and on the unorganised sector.