In the meetings of a Group of Ministers headed by Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot, at least four ministers wanted PM Narendra Modi to address more sections of society about COVID-19. Sources said that Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda wanted him to address village panchayats again about guidelines on quarantine and social distancing; MoS Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy suggested that Modi address self help groups, teachers, workers. Minister of Skill Development Mahendra Nath Pandey suggested that Modi address different sections and it should be highly publicised on social media. Chairman Gehlot suggested the PM address students because their examinations are either delayed or not being held.
Appeal For CM
The UP government may have received plaudits for its handling of COVID-19, but BSP MP Danish Ali has a reason to be upset. According to Ali, 25 people from his Amroha district have been quarantined for 45 days despite not having symptoms and testing negative. In a letter to CM Yogi Adityanath, Ali pointed out that protocols say that one can be quarantined for 14-21 days. The MP wanted the CM’s intervention to release the “innocent people” as he termed it a violation of fundamental rights.
With changes in labour laws and APMC law sparking criticism from the opposition as well as trade unions, including RSS-affiliated ones, the BJP wanted its CMs to handle the situation carefully. While changes in application of labour laws by Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat received harsh criticism, Karnataka CM B S Yediyurappa appeared to have moved more cautiously. Before his cabinet cleared the ordinance to amend the APMC Act to remove restrictions on sale of farm produce, he telephoned former CMs Siddaramaiah and H D Kumaraswamy to take them into confidence. The party feels the CM’s move could take the sting out of their attack.
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