Note ban or lockdown, it’s the poor who suffer: Congress
March 30 2020 12:30 AM
Indian National congress hand

IANS/New Delhi

The Congress party yesterday attacked the government for “inept handling” of the situation arising out of the country-wide lockdown and the high prices of testing kits for Covid-19.
The opposition party’s spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said the testing kits are priced at Rs4,500 apiece in India.
“Please don’t mock our poor as anybody who is not financially sound cannot afford such a costly test,” he said.
The Congress also attacked the government over the lockdown. “The lockdown was announced with the same haste with which demonetisation was done,” he said.
“Did you not think about migrant workers, daily wage labourers? Because of your actions, more than 1 crore people are on the streets. How can you then talk about social distancing?” asked Singhvi. 
The party alleged that the financial package announced by the government was barely 0.5% of the GDP, as opposed to stimulus announced by the US which is 15% of its GDP.
Singhvi said the government should help stranded people.
“In Punjab, we are sending buses for the distressed students who have come from Jammu and similar measures are being taken in Chhattisgarh and other Congress-ruled states. Exemplary work is being done by Congress workers in helping people,” said Singhvi.
He said when flights can be sent to bring back Indians stuck abroad, why can’t road transport be arranged for the poor who are walking hundreds of kilometres to get back home.
“We request the Modi government to heed the suggestions being offered by the Congress and do something about the stranded workers.”
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor also attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not giving enough time to the people to prepare before the lockdown was imposed.
“Neither was there a preparation then (referring to demonetisation), nor now. That time also the common man was at the receiving end, so is today,” he tweeted.
Kapil Sibal, another senior Congress leader, tweeted: “Modiji why: For Janata Curfew, four-day notice, for 21-day lockdown four-hour notice. No preparations in advance before lockdown. Migrants, jobless walking up to 200km to reach home without food, shelter. Lakhs stranded on highways, clueless and incompetent.” 
However, party leader Milind Deora said this was no time for politics.
“Now it’s not time for petty and partisan politicking about which government responded when and how effectively. We should work unitedly with laser focus to contain the spread of the Covid-19 and treat the infected regardless of their economic background,” Deora tweeted.
“There will be time for politics and rebuilding. At that time, hopefully, we will direct our outrage at those who misled and lied to the world. Without accountability, nothing changes,” he said.
Deora compared the current crisis to the 14th century plague, which originated from China and travelled through silk route to Europe and killed millions of people.
Titling it as Sunday musings, he said, “In 14th century black death or the great bubonic plague killed half of Europe’s population – the virus originated in China and central Asia and travelled to Europe through the silk route. About 700 years later with advance medical science and stricter border controls coronovirus threatens millions in the world. The plague reduced the world population by almost 350mn as per reports.”

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