‘Stand with India’: BJP slams Congress’ criticism of PM Modi’s ‘light a candle’ appeal amid coronavirus gloom

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Published: April 3, 2020 4:14:17 PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged people to switch off the lights at their homes and light up lamps, candles or mobile phone torches for nine minutes at 9 pm on April 5 to display the country's collective resolve to defeat coronavirus.

Sambit Patra suggested that the Congress to stand with the country in this difficult time and said that the appeal made by the PM is to show that the spirit of the country is high.

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday hit back at the Congress for criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘light a candle to show unity’ appeal. Party spokesperson Sambit Patra suggested that the grand old party stand with the country in this difficult time and said that the appeal made by the PM is to show that the spirit of the country is high.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi today addressed the nation to awaken the collective power of the janta janardan (public). But the Congress party sees this just an event. Naturally, the Congress party cannot light a diya that provides hope. The Congress should at least stand with India,” he tweeted in Hindi.

His reaction comes in the wake of senior Congress leaders mocking the PM’s video message. Kapil SIbal said that PM Modi has no knowledge about how his government is tackling the epidemic. He even tweeted a list of lapses by the Central government.

“Modiji. Learnt nothing about the government’s steps to 1) contain the virus 2) protect our medical practitioners 3) provide testing kits 4) reach food and supplies to the poor 5) finance migrant labour, the jobless. Light the ‘Diya’ of reason. Not that of superstition!” he tweeted.

Former Finance minister and senior party leader P Chidambaram also criticised PM Modi’s video message, saying symbolism is important but serious thought to ideas and measures is equally important.

“Dear (PM) Narendra Modi, We will listen to you and light diyas on April 5. But, in return, please listen to us and to the wise counsel of epidemiologists and economists. What we expected from you today was FAP II, a generous livelihood support package for the poor, including for those categories of poor who were totally ignored by (Finance Minister) Nirmala Sitharaman on 25-3-2020,” he said in a series of tweets.

Shashi Tharoor too launched a scathing attack on the Prime Minister, calling him “Pradhan Showman”. “Listened to the Pradhan Showman. Nothing about how to ease people’s pain, their burdens, their financial anxieties. No vision of the future or sharing the issues he is weighing in deciding about the post-lockdown. Just a feel-good moment curated by India’s Photo-Op PrimeMinister!” he tweeted.

Earlier this morning, the Prime Minister in a video message to the country urged people to switch off the lights at their homes and light up lamps, candles or mobile phone torches for nine minutes at 9 pm on April 5 to display the country’s collective resolve to defeat coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the Union Health Minister said that the country has reported over 2,300 Covid19 cases and 50 deaths.

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