New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday interacted with the chief ministers of all states and UTs on lockdown strategy and said the country will have to devise and implement a balanced strategy to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Also Read - ‘Don't Permit Train or Air Services to Tamil Nadu Till May 31,’ Palaniswami Urges PM Modi
During the interaction, PM Modi said the biggest challenge for the country will be to ensure that the infection does not spread to villages. Also Read - Coronavirus: PM Modi Interacts With Chief Ministers, Asks Them to Move Forward With Balanced Strategy
He also appreciated the role played by the states in the fight against the pandemic. He said the entire world is of the view that India has been able to successfully protect itself from the pandemic. Also Read - National Technology Day: PM Modi Remembers the Historic Pokhran Test, Hails Indian Scientists & Engineers
“The problems have increased wherever the social distancing norms were not followed or there has been laxity in implementation of the lockdown guidelines,” Modi told the chief ministers.
However, the chief ministers from their side also put forward their opinion to PM Modi. Take a look at what the chief ministers said during the video conference.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh pitched for the extension of the coronavirus lockdown, but with a carefully crafted exit strategy providing fiscal support to states.
While interacting with PM Modi, he said that in view of escalating’ virus cases, a continuation of the lockdown was needed. He also said that states should be given greater flexibility in micro-planning.
“The decision on designating red, orange/yellow and green zones should be left to the states, which are more cognizant of the ground realities,” he said.
On the other hand, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel said that regular train, air travel and inter-state bus services should resume after consulting state governments. “Wages for 200 days should be given under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA),” he demanded.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Monday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to resume the passenger train services, which were stopped as part of preventive measures to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country.
On the other hand, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy said that the agricultural markets should open in the state to cater to the needs of the people.
Saying that restoring normalcy would revive the economy of the country, he suggested that the centre should soften the terms of loans to help the people who are hit hard by the lockdown. Moreover, he suggested that public transport, shopping malls should be allowed to open with SOPs to ensure protocols are maintained.
A critic of the central government, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee accused the Centre of exploiting the pandemic to play politics in her state. “This is not the time to do politics,” the Chief Minister stated.