Failed lockdown pushed PM on backfoot: Rahul Gandhi

Failed lockdown pushed PM on backfoot: Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi. (PTI file photo)

Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday claimed that the anti-COVID-19 lockdown had failed to achieve its desired result as the coronavirus continues to spread exponentially, forcing Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the backfoot.

The Lok Sabha member from Wayanad also claimed that the state governments are fighting a “lonely battle” against COVID-19 and they require support from the Modi government.

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“The Prime Minister had said on national television two months back ‘we are going to fight COVID-19 pandemic in 21 days … Now we are past 60 days and the only country in the world where the virus is rising exponentially and we are ending the lockdown,” Rahul told a press conference through a video link.

He said even the Prime Minister would accept that his first plan has failed.

“The Prime Minister has always played on the front foot. Now he has gone on the back foot. He should come on the front foot again,” Rahul said.

He demanded that the Centre spells out its strategy or Plan B to combat COVID-19, claiming that the lockdown has failed to deliver desired results.

“What is the strategy regarding opening India? What precautions will they take to now curb the disease? How will they support migrants? How will they support the state governments and MSMEs?” Rahul asked.

The former Congress president, who is seeking to rebuild his political fortunes after two consecutive Lok Sabha poll reverses, claimed that unlike the Centre, the party-ruled states have a definite plan to tackle COVID-19 but are hamstrung in absence of support from the Modi government.

“We are directly giving cash to people including farmers and labourers but we are not getting any support from the Union government. It is becoming extremely difficult for our states to function without adequate support from the Union government,” Rahul said.

He wants the Centre to take economic action by injecting cash into the bank accounts of 50 per cent of the population and is dismissive of the financial package announced by the government

Rahul, who had warned in February about an economic tsunami hitting the world on account of the COVID-19 outbreak, said he had the same warning for the government.

“I am giving the same warning now. Telling the government to take economic action. Give cash injection. Protect small and medium businesses. Otherwise, we will face an economic crisis,” he said.

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