Opposition parties expressed disappointment over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation and said that that they had expected some concrete steps to tackle the economic downturn due to Covid-19 outbreak instead of an appeal to “light lamps”.
Senior Congress leader and former finance P. Chidambaram said that people expected the part II of a financial package. “What we expected from you today was FAP II, a generous livelihood support package for the poor, including for those categories of poor who were totally ignored by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman”.
“The people are disappointed on both counts,” he said, adding “We will listen to you and light diyas on April 5. But, in return, please listen to us and to the wise counsel of epidemiologists and economists”.
“Symbolism is important, but serious thought to ideas and measures is equally important,” he added.
Congress MP from Thiruvanathapuram Shashi Tharoor said that there was nothing about how to ease people’s pain, their burdens and their financial anxieties.
“Listened to the Pradhan Showman. Nothing about how to ease people’s pain, their burdens, their financial anxieties. No vision of the future or sharing the issues he is weighing in deciding about the post-lockdown. Just a feel-good moment curated by India’s Photo-Op Prime Minister!” he tweeted.
Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said that people expected the PM to make some announcements and share some information with the country.
“The nation expected you to announce that personal protection equipments have been made available for the lakhs and lakhs of doctors and medical staff working amidst great threat to their own lives. Today, the country expected you to declare that Rs 7,500 will be deposited in the Jan Dhan accounts, in the PM Kisan Scheme accounts and the pension accounts. The jobs card holders of MGNREGA were expecting you to announce an advance payment of three months in their accounts. State governments were hoping that you were announcing payment of GST dues,” he said.
The Nationalist Congress Party also criticised the video-message, saying it left the people of the country disappointed.
“People were expecting that he would tell people about the measures taken to contain Covid-19. Instead he told people to light lamps,” NCP spokesperson and Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik said.
Trinamul Congress MP Mahua Moitra also took a dig at the PM.
“Turn out lights and come on balconies? Get real Mr Modi. Give India fiscal package worth 8-10 percent of GDP. Ensure immediate wages to construction and other labour during lockdown — laws exist permitting this. Stop gagging real press in name of curbing fake news,” she tweeted.
The Communist Party of India said in a statement that “The Prime Minister says that ‘to defeat this darkness, we have to show the light in all directions’. Days and nights are natural process in the universe as much as the light and darkness. What people need now are scientific measures”....