‘Will not switch off lights’: Maharashtra minister Jitendra Awhad on PM Modi’s appeal

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Published: April 3, 2020 6:21:35 PM

In his 9 AM video message to the nation, PM Modi urged people to switch off lights of their homes at 9 pm for nine minutes on April 5 and light up lamps, candles and mobile flashlights to display the nation's collective spirit to defeat coronavirus.

Maharashtra Housing Minister and NCP leader Jitendra Awhad said he will not switch off lights as appealed by Modi as he is “not stupid”.

The NCP on Friday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his light up lamps message, saying it left citizens quite disappointed in the fight against coronavirus even as one of its Maharashtra ministers termed it as pure stupidity to tell people to do so. Maharashtra Housing Minister and NCP leader Jitendra Awhad also said he will not switch off lights as appealed by Modi as he is “not stupid”.

In his 9 AM video message to the nation, the prime minister urged people to switch off lights of their homes at 9 pm for nine minutes on April 5 and light up lamps, candles and mobile flashlights to display the nation’s collective spirit to defeat coronavirus.

Another Maharashtra minister and NCP national spokesperson Nawab Malik said it was expected Modi would speak about measures being taken to combat COVID-19, but people were instead told to light up lamps. “People were left quite disappointed after Modi jis speech delivered at 9 AM,” the Minority Affairs Minister said.

People were expecting he would talk about what measures the Centre has taken for combating the COVID-19 outbreak, steps being taken to give relief to the affected people. But were instead told to light up lamps, Malik said.

Attacking Modi, Awhad, too, said it was expected of the prime minister to talk about providing essential services and food to the people and assure about adequate availability of masks, sanitisers and medicines in the country.

Awhad said it was expected of the PM to shed light in the lives of people, particularly the poor, who are faced with darkness due to the outbreak of the disease. But instead he asked them to switch off lights and flash mobile phone lightsIt is pure stupidity and childishness to tell people to switch off lights therefore, Awhad said in a video message.

The minister said he is working among people and will not switch off lights at his home.

“I will give the money that will be required for (buying) candles and oil (to light lamps) to the poor. But I will keep lights in my home switched on and wont light up any candle. I just want to say I am not stupid,” he added. Awhad also accused Modi of trying to make an event out of everything.

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