Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday questioned the criteria being applied by the government for extending the lockdown to curb COVID-19 and asked what is the plan after May 17, when the lockdown ends.
Sonia on Wednesday held a video conference with four Chief Ministers of Congress-ruled states, who told her that states should be given the freedom to decide on the classification of zones into red, orange and green.
During the meeting, also attended by former PM Manmohan Singh and Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and P Chidambaram, the chief ministers reiterated the financial stress the states were facing and the need for the Centre to announce an economic package. Both Sonia and Singh felt it was time the government spells out its post-May 17 action plan.
“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,” Sonia was quoted as saying by Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala. Singh agreed, saying, “We need to know… what will happen after lockdown 3.0?”
Chidambaram said states are bleeding in terms of finance but no money is being allocated by the central government.
Reacting to the Congress questioning the government’s lockdown exit strategy, BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said, “At a time when everyone should join forces, questions are being raised about when the lockdown will be relaxed. If the Congress cannot cooperate with the government, it should not make efforts to create divisions. The way Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are raising questions every day, it is weakening the war against Corona,” he added.
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