As Centre and state governments devise a strategy for exiting the 21-day nationwide lockdown, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot Tuesday said the lockdown cannot be withdrawn in one go and can only be done in phases. He said saving lives is the most important task at this juncture, arguing that ruthless containment is the key to prevent the spread of the disease.
Asked about lifting of lockdown, Gehlot said, “Even if the lockdown is lifted…it will not be lifted in one go…We have imposed curfew in at least 40 places…wahan khulega nahin ek saath mein (The lockdown will not be lifted immediately). Be it Bhilwara or any other place, we will have to lift it phase-wise. The time to take a decision has not yet come. Whatever decision we take will be taken after applying our mind thoroughly.” Everything, he said, will depend on the feedback which the government will receive from across the state.
“Waise 21 days bohot jyada hote hain public ko aap gharon me rakhe (Agreed that 21 days are more than enough to keep people locked inside their home). And all factories, small and big industries…everything is shut because of the lockdown. You can understand where are we heading economically. The entire country is worried, the common man is concerned. We are all worried. Par zindagi aur Jeevan bachana bi bohot avashyak hain (However, it is utmost necessary to save lives at this point),” Gehlot said addressing a Congress press conference from Jaipur through video conferencing.
Elaborating his stance on how the state is preparing to lift the lockdown, Gehlot said two task forces have been set up so far, one to ideate how to relax the curfew and another on economic recovery. One of the task forces, he said, is headed by former Finance Secretary Arvind Mayaram, adding more such task forces will be set up.
He also demanded a probe by a sitting or a retired Supreme Court judge to find out the truth and fix accountability for the Tablighi Jamaat congregation at Nizamuddin in New Delhi and the spread of COVID-19.
Asked about the Tablighi Jamaat congregation issue, Gehlot said, “It is a serious issue. And it is also imperative to find out who was at fault. On one side, we Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Parsis, Jains, are all fighting together and in the midst of that. If somebody has committed a mistake, there should be punishment.”
Insisting to probe the matter, Gehlot said, “If somebody was organising a function, what stopped you from stopping that? You should have been stern. The truth should come out. You take action against them, send them to jail.”
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