Modi told political leaders on the
COVID-19 outbreak as he asserted that the priority of his government is to “save each and every life”.
Interacting with floor leaders of opposition and other parties in Parliament via video conferencing on Wednesday, the prime minister said, “We must continue to remain vigilant.”
Modi told the floor leaders that the nationwide
lockdown will not be lifted in one go on
April 14, according to BJD’s Pinaki Misra.
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Another leader, who participated in the meeting but did not wish to be named, said the Prime Minister told them that he will also consult chief ministers.
During the interaction, the PM praised the efforts of state governments working together with the Centre in the fight against the pandemic. “The country has witnessed constructive and positive politics through the coming together of all sections of polity to present a united front in this battle,” PM Modi said.
The PM also praised the sense of belonging, discipline, dedication and commitment with which each and every citizen is contributing in this endeavour, be it in following social distancing, Janta Curfew or the lockdown.
PM Modi while underlining the impact of the emerging situation as witnessed in the resource constraints, also said India has been among the few nations to control the pace of spread of the
coronavirus till now.
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However, he warned that the situation keeps changing continuously and one needs to maintain vigil at all times.
Modi underlined that the situation in the country is akin to a “social emergency”. “The country has been forced to take tough decisions, and must continue to remain vigilant,” he added.
He said that several state governments, district administrations and experts have asked for the extension of the phase of lockdown that ends on April 14.
The Prime Minister noted that in these changing circumstances, the country should simultaneously try to bring about a change in its work culture and working style. “The priority of the government is saving each and every life. Even though the country is facing serious economic challenges as a result of COVID-19, the government is committed to overcoming them,” he emphasized during the video conference.
The top officials of the government present in the meeting gave detailed presentations on the steps being taken to meet the emerging challenges, including status of distribution of benefits under the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana.
Apart from Azad and Pawar, others who attended the virtual meet included, Ram Gopal Yadav (Samajwadi Party), Satish Misra (Bahujan Samaj Party), Chirag Paswan (Lok Janshakti Party), T R Baalu (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam), Sukhbir Singh Badal (Shiromani Akali Dal), Rajiv Ranjan Singh (Janata Dal-United), Pinaki Mishra (Biju Janata Dal) and Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena).
The floor leaders thanked the Prime Minister for the meeting, appreciated the timely measures taken by him and said that the entire country is standing united behind him during the crisis.
The leaders also talked about boosting the health and morale of the healthcare workers, ramping up testing facilities, the need to assist smaller states and UTs and tackling the challenges of hunger and malnutrition. They also spoke about the economic and other policy measures to boost the country’s capability in this battle against the pandemic.
The PM thanked the leaders for their constructive suggestions and feedback, adding that their commitment to assist the government in this battle reaffirms the democratic foundations of the country and the spirit of cooperative federalism.
(With inputs from agencies)
Covid-19: PM Narendra Modi calls the situation ‘social emergency’, says lockdown may not be lifted in one go