'We will light diyas, you address economic woes,' says P Chidambaram after Narendra Modi calls for candlelight vigil on 5 April

Asian News International

New Delhi: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi must listen to the advice of epidemiologists and economists to tackle India's economic woes.

"Dear Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we will listen to you and light diyas on 5 April. But, in return, please listen to us and to the wise counsel of epidemiologists and economists," former Finance Minister tweeted.

He alleged that the Centre has ignored poor amid lockdown and it was expected that the government would announce a financial assistance plan (FAP) II to support them.

"What we expected from you today was FAP II, a generous livelihood support package for the poor, including for those categories of poor who were totally ignored by Nirmala Sitharaman (Finance Minister) on 25 March," he wrote on Twitter.

"Every working man and woman, from business person to daily wage earner, also expected you to announce steps to arrest the economic slide and re-start the engines of economic growth," he said.

Cornering the government, he alleged that the people are disappointed on both sides, stating that not just symbolism, ideas and measures are equally important.

"The people are disappointed on both counts. Symbolism is important, but serious thought to ideas and measures is equally important," he said.

Meanwhile, his son and fellow Congress leader Karti Chidambaram targetted the government more sharply and tweeted, "Will sticking pins into a voodoo doll in the shape of (the coronavirus) help?"

In a video message, Modi asked citizens to turn all lights off in their houses at 9 pm on Sunday (5 April) and to stand at their doors or windows with a candle, diya and torch for nine minutes in a battle against the COVID-19.

In his address to the nation on 24 March, Modi had announced a 21-day lockdown in the country to contain the spread of novel coronavirus, which has infected over 2,000 people in the country.

Also See: Coronavirus Outbreak: Rahul Gandhi calls for 'more nuanced, compassionate approach', says lockdown will devastate county's poor, weak

Coronavirus Outbreak: Congress MLA in Puducherry booked under Disaster Management Act for alleged violation of lockdown

Coronavirus Outbreak: ICMR invites quotations from manufacturers for supply of COVID-19 test kits as cases in India cross 600

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