New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday defended his decision to impose a 21-day nationwide lockdown to contain the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic and apologised for ‘hardships’ that people are facing due to this move. Also Read - PM Modi Thanks Akshay Kumar For Donating Rs 25 Crore to Fight Against Coronavirus

Today, addressing the nation through the 63rd episode of his monthly radio program ‘Mann Ki Baat,’ PM Modi ‘apologised’ for taking the harsh steps, which, he said, had caused difficulties in people’s lives, especially the poor. Also Read - Mann ki Baat: I Know You Would Forgive me, PM Modi Apologises For Lockdown

“I know that some of you are angry with me as well, but these tough measures were needed to win this battle,” he said, defending his decision to impose the lockdown. Remarking that the battle against COVID-19 was a ‘tough one,’ he said that it, nevertheless, required such harsh decisions and was important to keep the people of India safe. Also Read - PM Narendra Modi Thanks Varun Dhawan For His Donation Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

The Prime Minister also had a message for those violating the lockdown, saying that while he understands that nobody wants to break the rules deliberately, but if they don’t observe the lockdown properly, it will be extremely difficult to protect the country from coronavirus.

Notably, this was his first Mann Ki Baat address since the lockdown was announced and came into effect.

PM Modi had announced the lockdown on March 24, two days after the nation, on his call, observed the ‘Janata Curfew’ and applauded all those leading the country’s battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.