A day after the Supreme Court sought answers from the Centre and the state governments over the problems faced by migrant workers, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday said the governments are doing their best and if anyone has better solutions to offer, they will be taken into account.
Asked about the court’s observation that “effective concentrated efforts are required to redeem the situation”, the senior BJP leader told the media, “The Supreme Court has always got its jurisdiction to take these type of subjects, or any subjects for that matter. But as Law minister of India, it is not proper for me to make any comment on the observations. The Supreme Court has issued notice and the government of India and the state governments will respond on what steps they have taken.”
“I can only state in all the humility that all the states are doing their best. These are very challenging times. If someone has any better solutions to offer, they will be taken into account,” he said. Prasad said results of the efforts made by the governments were visible. “The results, India in comparison to the world as far as the death is concerned, speak aloud on our initiatives.”
Last week, the Gujarat High Court pulled up the BJP-led government for the poor facilities at a state-run hospital in Ahmedabad. Asked about what kind of assistance the Centre would be extending to the state, Prasad said, “The AIIMS director was sent there to guide… Whatever further is needed will be done. We don’t want to see the political colour of the state government . The country needs to work in unison and we have to overcome and I am quite sure we shall overcome.”
Targeting Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Prasad said his recent public statements were “utterly irresponsible”. He alleged that Rahul “was trying to weaken the resolve”of the country to fight against the pandemic and that his criticism was “based upon falsehood”.
“The first state to announce a lockdown was Punjab followed by Rajasthan. And now Maharashtra and Punjab were the first ones to extend the lockdown till May 31, even before the meeting of chief ministers with the Prime Minister…You say lockdown is not the solution, then don’t you explain this to your chief ministers?Or don’t they listen to you, or they don’t give your opinions any weightage?,” he said.
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