New Delhi, May 26 : Describing the nationwide lockdown as a failure, former Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the relaxation in the lockdown and asked what was the strategy for opening the country.
He also accused the Central government of not supporting the state governments, which have been transferring the money directly into the hands of the farmers and labourers. Addressing a press conference through video conferencing, Rahul Gandhi said, “Two months ago the Prime Minister said that we were going to fight in 21-days a war against novel coronavirus (Covid-19).”
“And now we are in 60 days and we are the only country in the world where the virus is exponentially rising and we are removing the lockdown. It is pretty clear that the aim and the purpose of the lockdown has failed,” the Congress leader said.
- Four stages of lockdown have not given the result that the Prime Minister expected
- What is the central govt planning to do going forward as disease is growing
- Central govt must infuse cash to people; it will be fatal if they do not do it
- Centre must support states; it will be difficult for Cong-ruled states to function without central support
- India has been facing a very serious unemployment problem for a while. Make in India and other initiatives have not given expected results. Now Coronavirus has multiplied the problem of unemployment
- The government should listen to opposition and common people. If the BJP gives suggestions to our govts. in states ruled by Congress Party, we would listen to them and even accept the suggestions which are valid and helpful. That’s how democracy should run.
- Govt’s job is that of governance and our job is to draw attention to the issues which are ignored by the govt. I was warning the government in February & I am doing the same now.
He said the result of the “failed lockdown” is in front of all. “We in the Congress want to understand what the government’s view is. What is their view for going forward? We want to understand what is the strategy?” he said, adding that the Prime Minister and his entire advisory staff, including his top medical people said that the disease would start to reduce in May, whereas the cases are not reducing and are increasing.
“I want to ask the Prime Minister and the government, now that we have a failed lockdown, what is the strategy going forward and what is the strategy as far as opening India is concerned,” he said.
He also said, “What are the precautions that they are going to take to curb this disease, and how they are thinking to support migrants, state governments, MSMEs.
“We have great expectations, multiple press conferences about the economic package. The Prime MInister said that the economic package was 10 per cent of GDP whereas the reality is that it is one per cent of GDP and hardly any cash is being given to people,” the Congress MP from Kerala’s Wayanad said.
Rahul Gandhi said, “Directly we are giving cash to farmers, labourers, but we are not getting any support from the central government. And it is becoming extremely difficult for our states to function without adequate support from central government.”
This is Rahul Gandhi’s fourth interaction with the media in the last 60 days amid the nationwide lockdown to combat the spread of novel coronavirus. He has interacted twice with the national media and once with the regional media.