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Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Centre, states doing their best; open to suggestions: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government's efforts in controlling the pandemic were visible in the results. “The results, India in comparison to the world as far as the death toll is concerned, speaks aloud on our initiatives.”

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi | Updated: May 27, 2020 8:35:54 pm
Ravi Shankar Prasad interview, RS Prasad interview, Ravi Shankar Prasad interview Indian Express, RS Prasad on coronavirus, RS Prasad on COVID-19, India news, Indian Express Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. (File Photo)

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 Wednesday said the governments at both levels are doing their best in these challenging times and are ready to consider “better solutions” to improve the situation.

Taking suo motu cognisance of the plight of lakhs of stranded migrant workers across the country, the apex court on Tuesday pointed out the “inadequacies and lapses” in the handling of the crisis and issued notices to the Centre and state governments on steps taken to “redeem the situation.”

When asked about the top court’s observation, Prasad said, “The Supreme Court has always got its jurisdiction to take these type of subjects, or any subjects for that matter. But as the law minister of India, its 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. But in the given situation, the best possible efforts are being done and are going to be done. If there is a scope for improvement we are open for that,” he added.

The minister said the government’s efforts in controlling the pandemic were visible in the results. “The results, India in comparison to the world as far as the death toll is concerned, speaks aloud on our initiatives.”

Last week, Gujarat High Court had pulled up the state government for the poor facilities in the government run hospital in Ahmedabad. Asked about the kind of assistance the centre would be giving to the state to fight the pandemic, Prasad said the Centre is doing its best.

“The AIIMS director was sent there to guide and to assist… 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,” Prasad said.

He also pointed out that Gujarat is a place where migrants from different states are working. “Despite the challenges, the state is trying its best,” he said.

Prasad also called out Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his public statements in the recent past which, the BJP leader said, were “utterly irresponsible”. Prasad alleged that Gandhi, who called the Centre’s lockdown strategy a “failure”, was “trying to weaken the resolve” of the country to fight against the pandemic and that his criticism was “based upon falsehood and misrepresentation of facts”.

Prasad also alleged that Gandhi was “demoralising” people in the country during the crisis times.

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