Sonia Gandhi questions Centre on criteria used to judge how long lockdown will continue

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Updated: May 06, 2020 12:32 PM

Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday sought to know what criteria the government is using to judge how long the lockdown is to continue.

Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi. File pic

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday questioned the government over the criteria it adopted to judge how long the COVID-19-induced lockdown will continue. Addressing a meeting of chief ministers of states where the Congress is in power, she asked “what after May 17?.” The third phase of the lockdown ends on May 17.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh and former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi were part of the meeting

“After May 17th, What? and After May 17th, How?…what criteria is GoI (government of India) using to judge how long the lockdown is to continue…,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala quoted Sonia Gandhi as saying in the video conference with CMs.

She thanked farmers, particularly of Punjab and Haryana, for ensuring food security by giving bumper wheat crop produce despite all odds.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh also said, “We need to know, as Soniaji said, what will happen after lockdown 3.0?”.

“Soniaji has already pointed out. CM’s need to deliberate and ask as to what is the strategy of the government of India to get the country out of lockdown,” Singh asked.

Speaking at the meeting, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said he has set up two committees, one to strategise on how to come out of the lockdown and the other on economic revival.

“Concern is people sitting in Delhi are deciding on classification of (COVID-19) zones without knowing what’s happening on the ground,” he said at the meeting.

Rajasthan Chief minister Ashok Gehlot said, “until extensive stimulus package is given, how will states and the country run? We have lost Rs 10,000 crore revenue.” He said states have repeatedly requested the prime minister for a package, “but we are yet to hear from the government of India”.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said, “States are facing dire economic crisis. They need to be provided immediate assistance.” He said Chattisgarh is one state where 80 per cent of Small Industries have restarted and nearly 85,000 workers have returned to work.

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