Andhra Pradesh

Modi’s address was disappointing, say leaders of Opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee president Sake Sailajanath. File photo

Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee president Sake Sailajanath. File photo   | Photo Credit: R.V.S. PRASAD

It did not touch upon measures being taken for migrant labourers, they said

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s latest address to the nation on Friday was disappointing and did not touch upon any of the current serious issues such as measures being taken to rescue the large migrant population that would not be able to endure the 21-day lockdown period, said leaders of Opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh.

Also read: Pakage | Lockdown displaces lakhs of migrants

State leaders from the Congress, the Communist Party of India and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) unanimously opined that it was the late reaction of the Central Government that put the country in the current situation, in which it lacked testing kits and Personal Protection Equipment to take care of the 130 crore population. They pointed out that no plan was announced for migrant labourers across the country during this lockdown.

Communist Party of India State secretary K. Ramakrishna told The Hindu that Friday’s speech was eagerly expected by the people (mostly migrant labourers) stranded at many places in the country, but Mr. Modi seemed to have addressed the middle-class and upper middle-class of the nation, totally neglecting the large workforce that is key to nation building.

“I understand this is not time to do politics, but our sincere advice is to reach out to the less-privileged class and do something concrete,” Mr. Ramakrishna said. “Let the Prime Minister speak about what was being done to ensure social distancing among those who cannot afford it or the ill-advised lockdown without proper arrangement that was killing several people.”

He gave the example of a Tamil Nadu student, who died in Hyderabad on Friday while he was on a walk from Mumbai to Tamil Nadu and was put in quarantine there without anyone taking care of him.

Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India

Testing only 400 samples a day for a population of 4.5 crore was atrocious and the Centre and State governments were not releasing funds for taking care of the people in quarantine, alleged APCC president Sake Sailajanath. Talking to The Hindu, he said only ₹50 lakh was released so far and that was not sufficient, though Principal Secretary P.V. Ramesh had promised ₹400 crore. He said there were 20 crore people without ration cards and asked how the State would address their daily grocery needs.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) State secretary P. Madhu pointed out the flaw in the Central and State government policy in promoting private healthcare at the cost of government-run facilities and said the current situation exposed how the private hospitals shied away from treating COVID-19 patients and government medical care personnel were doing their best. He said the farming community had also been totally neglected during the current pandemic and by the time lockdown ended, it would have inflicted unrecoverable damage to several crops and their growers.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 7:52:06 PM |

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