September 19, 2020 18:47 (IST)
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Opposition accuses PM Modi of ignoring concerns of the poor amid extended COVID-19 lockdown

Opposition accuses PM Modi of ignoring concerns of the poor amid extended COVID-19 lockdown

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 14 Apr 2020, 03:44 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: Minutes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the extension of lockdown till May 3, veteran Congress leader P Chidambaram accused the government of not heeding the advice of top economists in addressing the concerns of the poor and the unorganised sector.

"Cry, my beloved country," Chidambaram tweeted, adding the poor have been "left to fend for themselves for 21+19 days".

He alleged that while the country understands the compulsion of extension of lockdown, the advice of the experts like former RBI chief Raghuram Rajan, Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee, Jean Dreze and Prabhat Patnaik have "fallen on deaf years".

Chidambaram said there was nothing 'new' in Prime Minister's New Year address.

"It is obvious that livelihood for the poor — their survival — is not among the priorities of the government," he tweeted.

"CMs’ demand for money elicited no response. Not a rupee has been added to the miserly package of March 25, 2020," he said, accusing the government of not responding to the Chief Ministers' demand for economic package to deal with the coronavirus crisis in their respective states.

Meanwhile, election strategist-turned politician Prashant Kishor today asked the government if it had a plan B if the lockdown proved ineffective in controlling the coronavirus spread in the country.

Kishor, who was expelled from Janata Dal United, an ally of BJP in Bihar, after he pressed party chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to clarify his stand on the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, has been one of the sharp critics of the way the lockdown has been imposed in the country.

"Do we have an alternate plan or the will to course correct?" he questioned.

The Indian government on Tuesday extended the lockdown to combat COVID-19 outbreak till May 3.

The announcement of 19 more days of lockdown was made by PM Narendra Modi during his address to the nation today in the morning.

"We will now increase the lockdown till May 3," Modi said.

He asked the people to be cautious.

"We have to be much more cautious now. We have to keep watch on possible hotspots. New hotspots will give us more challenges and create problems. Till next week, the stringency will be increased.

"Till April 20 we will keep constant watch on every district, police station area," he said.