NEW DELHI — The Congress on Saturday questioned the Centre on a host of issues and demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi come forward to inform the countrymen on his government’s plans to deal with the ongoing Coronavirus crisis and economic revival.
The opposition party’ stand comes a day after the central government announced to extend the nationwide lockdown for two more weeks till May 17.
Addressing the media through videoconference, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said: “Yesterday, the Home Ministry announced to extend the lockdown for two more weeks. Neither the Prime Minister came nor the Home Minister; and not even a single officer came forward. Only an order came for lockdown 3.0.”
He alleged that Modi and his government had not informed the country about the ways to come out of Coronavirus crisis and how they will alleviate the people’s miseries.
Firing salvos at Modi, the Congress leader said: “Will we see another lockdown? When will the lockdown finally end? What is the ‘exit strategy’ from lockdown 3.0?”
The Prime Minister must come forward and address the citizens and enlighten them on the way ahead, the Congress leader demanded.
Accusing the central government of not handling the issue of stranded migrant labourers in a humane manner, Surjewala urged the Centre to ferry these people to their native states in sanitised trains for free, apart from providing them food en route.
He also questioned the government about the plans to revive the Indian economy.
“What are the thoughts and policy of the Prime Minister for the nation? What is the road map, not only for harvesting and grant of MSP to farmers but also for sowing of the next kharif crops and availability of fertilizers, seeds, and pesticides? What are the arrangements for ensuring livelihood and ration for over 40 crore urban and village poor and labourers? What is the relief package for 4.25 crore MSMEs that generate 11 crore jobs?
“How do you propose to ensure ‘jobs and pay protection’ for the middle class and salaried people? What is the strategy for revival and restarting tourism and hotel industry, textile industry, construction industry, automobile and IT industry, transport and aviation industry and other such sectors?” Surjewala questioned.
He said that Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi have repeatedly spoken about immediate announcement and implementation of a ‘Financial Action Plan Part-2’ and have written a number of letters to the Prime Minister to give concrete suggestions.
Surjewala reiterated the seven demands raised by the two top Congress leaders and said the fight against Covid-19 shall be united and not unitary.
On Saturday, India’s total Coronavirus cases climbed to 37,336, with 1,218 deaths and 9,950 others cured and discharged.