Silence on financial support to poor in PM’s address to nation disappoints opposition

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Leaders of opposition parties have expressed disappointment over the failure on the part of the central government to announce a relief package for the poor and any concrete steps to revive the sagging economy while extending the lockdown by 19 days.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala termed as rhetoric and hollow the Prime Minister’s address to the nation.  “Leadership does not mean making people realise their responsibilities but to fulfil the government's duty of accountability towards the people of the country,” he added.

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said, "The poor have been left to fend for themselves for 21+19 days, including practically soliciting food. There is money, there is food, but the government will not release either money or food. Cry, my beloved country," he said on Twitter.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said the PM's address was like Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark.

"Amazing PM address. Exhortation, rhetoric, inspiration.....yet hollow on specifics! No financial package, no details, no concrete item. Neither for poor nor middle class nor industry nor businesses. Lockdown is good but cannot be end in itself! Where is single livelihood issue," he asked.

DMK president M K Stalin said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 3 has disappointed people as there was no mention of any measure to help the needy.

"Since the national lockdown was announced on March 24, people are staying indoors, but the government is not providing enough support to them. There are lots of daily wage earners in the country. These people are struggling to remain alive. Is it not the responsibility of the Centre to save such people?" Stalin said.

He said PM’s speech gave only advise to people. "People have heard enough of advice. What they need now is financial support and other relief. The Centre must have announced a policy to support such people much before announcing the lockdown," said Stalin.

Stalin also criticised the PM for his silence on providing testing kits, personal protection equipment to health workers, who are treating Covid-19 patients? “People want hear answers to these questions from the Prime Minister," said Stalin (with inputs from Times of India)

Image Credit: Human Rights Watch

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