On Wednesday, Congress president Sonia Gandhi questioned the Centre’s criteria adopted to judge as to how long the COVID-19 lockdown will continue. Meanwhile, Chief Ministers’ of various Congress-run states asked if the Centre has a plan to get the country out of lockdown and also revive the economy.
While addressing a meeting of chief ministers of states where Congress is in power along with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, the party president Sonia Gandhi asked “After May 17th, What? and After May 17th, How? What criteria is the government of India using to judge how long the lockdown is to continue.” Congress also accused the government of non-cooperation in dealing with the pandemic, taking decisions arbitrarily without consulting them, and not providing the funds.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, “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.”
Meanwhile, while speaking at the meeting, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh stated that he has set up two committees, one to strategize on how to come out of the lockdown and the other on economic revival. “Concern is people sitting in Delhi are deciding on the classification of (COVID-19) zones without knowing what’s happening on the ground,” he asserted.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said, “until extensive stimulus package is given, how will States and the country run? We have lost ₹10,000 crore revenue.” “States have repeatedly requested Prime Minister for a package, but we are yet to hear from GOI,” he added.
Furthermore, Congress chief thanked farmers particularly of Punjab and Haryana, for ensuring food security by giving bumper wheat crop produce despite all odds.
Earlier, on Monday, Sonia Gandhi announced that the State units of Congress will bear the cost for rail travel of every needy worker and migrant laborers while citing it ‘disturbing’ that the Railways and the Union government were charging travel fare on the distress migrants.