Sonia Gandhi questions Centre on lockdown plan - "What after May 17?"
Indian National Congress President and leader of the opposition Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday at a meeting of chief ministers of Congress-ruled states raised the question of "What after May 17?" to the government regarding its next decision on the extended coronavirus lockdown. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh too echoed the same sentiment and queried the government on its strategy post May 17 when the third phase of the lockdown will come to an end after being extended twice on April 14 and May 4 since being imposed on March 25 to stop the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak across the nation.
As per Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, Sonia Gandhi during the meeting via video link said, "After May 17th, What? And After May 17th, How? What criteria is the government using to judge how long the lockdown is to continue,". Manmohan Singh, who spoke next said, "We need to know, as Soniaji said, what will happen after lockdown 3.0." He added saying the Chief Ministers must ask the strategy that is being prepared to lift India out of the lockdown.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh too expressed his worries while speaking about the lockdown extension and the economic shortfalls incurred saying, "The concern is that people sitting in Delhi are deciding on the classification of COVID-19 zones without knowing what is happening on the ground,". Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on a similar note conveyed his suggestion for a relief fund and said, "Until an extensive stimulus package is given, how will the states and the country run? We have lost Rs 10,000 crore revenue." Former Union Minister P. Chidambaram asserted that states across India were "bleeding" economically and the Centre is yet to allocate any financial assistance.
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