On Sunday, Congress party slammed the in power BJP government for its lack of preparedness before announcing the “thoughtless” lockdown to check the coronavirus outbreak. The grand old party alleged that PM Modi was making “rash” decisions in the same way as it did during the 2017 demonetization action.
A decision like 2017’s demonetization
According to the sources, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said that it was unfortunate and the history was repeated.
“The lockout was announced in the same way as the hasty demonetization was done. Please do not make such decisions,” he said at a press briefing via a video link, referring to the mass exodus of migrant laborers being reported from several parts of the country, including Delhi.
However, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma has his own take to the situation. He said India must remain strong and united in the battle against the virus and it’s everyone’s “national duty” to stand behind Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Supporting Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s appeal to rise above sectarian divisions, Sharma said, “Our response must be national and uniform not a fragmented one”.
“PM Shri Narendra Modi leads the national campaign and chief ministers are the commanders in states. Supporting their effort is a national duty,” he tweeted.
Sharma also elevated the issue of lack of readiness and the exodus of migrant laborers.
“The fight against COVID19 is a national challenge. It is a matter of concern that central and state administration was not fully prepared to sensitively deal with the fallout of closure of businesses and the forced movement of migrant workers following the loss of work and wages,” he said.
Sharma demanded the govt to give urgent relief, food, and shelter to the laborers, continuing it was “heart-rending to see our citizens suffer”. “Each one of us should help and contribute to the best of our ability.”
At a press conference, Singhvi questioned what was the reason for social distancing when millions of people were on the streets. “Should we not have prepared for this possibility in advance and it is not as if it could not be seen,” he asked.
He alleged PM Modi for the March 19 decision, when the prime minister announced a ‘Janta curfew’ but had made no announcement for the next four days.
“If you could give four days notice to applaud the Covid warriors, what was lacking that you could not give (more than three-hour) notice for the national lockdown,” he asked.
“There was no harmony and suddenly a thoughtless lockdown was announced,” he said.
He said though the party stands by “all positive efforts”, it would be failing in its duty if it did not bring “some terrible, avoidable, indeed unforgivable mistakes” of this government.
“…I am forced to say that unpreparedness has become the byword and the buzzword of this government and unpreparedness has cost us, dear,” he said.