"Cry, my beloved country" - P Chidambaram on the lockdown extension!

Minutes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi has concluded his national address of announcing the lockdown extension, Former Union Finance and Home Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram took to Twitter and questioned the move of extending the lockdown. 

In his series of tweets concerning the fresh directive of the Central government on extending the embargo, Chidambaram asked "what was ‘new’ in PM’s new year message beyond lockdown". The former Union Minister has expressed disappointment that the poor had been left to fend for themselves for 21+19 days, including practically soliciting food. He stated that the government will not release either money or food even it has both.

By citing that the advice of Raghuram Rajan, Jean Dreze, Prabhat Patnaik, Abhijit Banerji had fallen on deaf ears, he said it was obvious that the livelihood of the poor, including their survival, is not among the priorities of the government. He further stated that the demand from the Chief Ministers for money had elicited no response and the Center hasn't added a rupee to the miserly package of March 25th, 2020. 

He claimed that he supports the decision to extend the lockdown that was driven based on the compulsion. In his tweet, he stated, "Cry, my beloved country". On Tuesday, amid the speculations, Narendra Modi has announced the nationwide lockdown extension to contain the spread of the virus. In his fourth televised address in the wake of the outbreak, Modi said that the lockdown has been extended till May 3rd, 2020.

Prime Minister Modi addressing the nation - April 14th, 2020 - ANI photo


He stated the country will remain under strict restrictions till April 20th after which the decision of relaxing the lockdown would be taken based on the situation and he said that the Central government would be releasing the extensive guidelines on implementing the second spell of the lockdown on Wednesday. He divulged that the severe restrictions would be reinforced if the rules of the lockdown found to be broken and if the virus has a rampant spread. He appealed to the people not to be careless in containing the spread of the pandemic.

No relief package for the daily wage laborers, farmers, and construction workers were announced in his address and these announcements had been demanded by the opposition parties after the first spell of the 21-days-lockdown ran through the migration crisis and led thousands to get stranded with lack of transportations.