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'Unplanned' lockdown caused chaos, Sonia Gandhi tells CWC; Congress CMs want more funds from Centre

Sonia Gandhi urged the Congress chief ministers to call for better coordination and funds from the Centre, including early distribution of states' share of GST, for effectively combating Covid-19.

ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Apr 02, 2020, 01.48 PM IST
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NEW DELHI: Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday extended her party's full support in combating Covid-19, but also stressed that an "unplanned" announcement by the Modi government of the nation-wide lockdown caused many difficulties to the people.

The Congress working president also demanded that the Centre frame a "common minimum relief programme" for the people.

Addressing a CWC meeting via video conferencing, Gandhi urged the Congress chief ministers to call for better coordination and funds from the Centre, including early distribution of states' share of GST, for effectively combating Covid-19.

"The 21-day national lockdown may have been necessary but the unplanned manner in which it has been implemented has caused chaos and pain in the lives of millions of migrant workers all over India".

Elaborating further, she said, " "It has been heart-breaking to see lakhs of people walking for hundreds of kilometres towards their villages without food or shelter."

She called upon partymen and others to extend all help to the most vulnerable. 'It is the duty of us all to do our utmost to lessen their suffering. I wish to thank all those who are offering them help, our workers, civil society and people who have shown their kindness and compassion to them," she said.

She requested the Centre and the state governments to provide relief to farmers and also to those working in the health sectors.

The Congress leader also stressed the need for social and communal unity at this critical juncture.

The Congress chief ministers briefed the CWC about the steps being taken by their state governments to combat Covid19 in their States. These CMs also stressed the need for the Centre extending better coordination with the States, including sharing of the funds .

Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh said at the CWC meeting that non release of State’s share of ?5,000 crore by the government of India as a hindrance in the fight against COVID.-19 " I have taken it up with the Finance Minister", he said.

Chattisgarh CM Bhupesh Bhagel said at the meeting , “Congress government has given 10 kgs of ration free to all the families under the PDS system. All children in anganwadis are being sent their food home. However, GST share of over ?2,000 crore was not not released by the government of India."

onia Gandhi concluded her address by saying, "Only if we act together in solidarity, we will overcome."
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