Covid-19 lockdown: Chidambaram calls central govt ‘heartless’, poses 2 questions – india news
Congress leader P Chidambaram on Sunday called the central government heartless, accusing it of doing nothing for the poor during Covid-19 lockdown.
“There is overwhelming evidence that more and more people have run out of cash and are forced to stand in lines to collect free cooked food. Only a heartless government will stand by and do nothing,” Chidambaram said on Twitter.
He then asked two questions: “Why cannot government save them from hunger AND protect their dignity by transferring cash to every poor family? Why can’t government distribute, free of cost, a small part of the 77 million tonnes of grain with FCI to families who need the grain to feed themselves?”
And then targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. “These two questions are both economic and moral questions. @narendramodi and @nsitharaman have failed to answer both questions, as the nation watches helplessly,” Chidambaram said in his third and final tweet.
The tweets come nearly a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced extension of nationwide lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus disease Covid-19. The initial 21-day lockdown, which was scheduled to end on April 14, was extended till May 3.
The central government then announced a slew of measures, which are aimed at benefiting the poor and restarting the economy stalled due to the lockdown. Many small enterprises have been given permission to resume work an labourer-based service allowed. The relaxations are coming into effect from Monday.
The Congress has repeatedly sought the ramping up of Covid-19 testing and personal protection equipment (PPEs) for health workers. It has also urged the government to spell out steps it plans to take to mitigate the woes of migrant labourers and farmers waiting to harvest their crops.
On Saturday, Congress president Sonia Gandhi constituted an 11-member consultative group under former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s leadership to deliberate on matters related to the Covid-19 pandemic and to formulate the party’s views on them. Chidambaram is part of that group.