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Home Minister praises efforts to fight pandemic in virtual Odisha rally

Union Home Minister Amit Shah arrives to address Odisha Jansamwad rally via video-conferencing at the BJP headquarters, in New Delhi.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah arrives to address Odisha Jansamwad rally via video-conferencing at the BJP headquarters, in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: Atul Yadav

Congress has done nothing other than conduct interviews, says Amit Shah.

Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday took a pot shot at the Congress party, saying it had done nothing to fight the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic apart from conducting interviews.

While addressing a Jansamvad “virtual rally” for Odisha Mr. Shah said, “I am here to tell you what the Narendra Modi government has done. When the crisis of coronavirus surfaced, the government announced a ₹1.7 lakh crore-package for 60 crore people.”

“Many disasters came. The Congress party did nothing except holding interviews,” he said.

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“Some Opposition leaders are questioning us on how we handled the COVID-19 pandemic. We may have faulted somewhere and may be short of expectations but we never lacked sincerity. People are discussing in English about India’s fight against coronavirus in Sweden and America. Please give an account of what you [the Opposition] have done,” said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader.

‘Better position’

“India is comparatively at a better position for the steps taken by it to tackle the pandemic,” he said.

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Terming COVID-19 a global pandemic, Mr. Shah said, “When the disease reached India, Modiji fought the pandemic in a strange way. After independence, many epidemics and natural disasters came. It was generally seen that governments used to take the responsibility. However, our government took people along in such a way that government fought the health crisis while at the same time 130 crore people also came forward to fight it.”

“As a result of this, India is tackling the pandemic comparatively better than others in the world, he said.

‘In golden letters’

“First, Modiji called for ‘Janata Curfew’. I saw it for the first time in my life that even the police did not have to do anything — 130 crore people kept themselves inside their houses. When history will be written on ways of fighting pandemics, the Janata Curfew will have to be written in golden letters [by] whoever sits down to write it. Then came lighting up lamps and beating bells,” said BJP leader.

“I have seen tears in the eyes of COVID-19 warriors such as nurses, doctors, paramedic staff and police when armed forces showered petals to encourage them. This kind of programme can only emerge from a sensible heart. The mantra of one nation and one heart was executed,” Mr. Shah said.

‘Safety of workers’

“Our PM and we were all pained by the difficulties with which migrant labourers returned home. But, the safety of migrant workers was priority for us than their difficulties. Modiji started trains from May 1. The fare for train travel was borne by the States, and State governments also arranged buses to take them from railway stations to villages. Both Centre and State fought jointly. As a result of which people are now safe with their family members inside their houses,” he said.

On the issue of waiving of farm loans, the Home Minister said the Congress, in its 10 years of rule, had once waived loans amounting to ₹60,000 crore of 3.5 crore farmers, but there was no record to prove it.

“However, the BJP is committed and has so far extended assistance of ₹72,000 crore to 9.5 crore farmers. Besides, ₹6,000 will be directly credited to the bank accounts of farmers every year under the PM-KISAN scheme,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 15, 2020 6:30:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/home-minister-praises-efforts-to-fight-pandemic-in-virtual-odisha-rally/article31780971.ece

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