Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's request to people to come out on their rooftops and balconies etc on March 22 as "excessive" and "uncalled for". Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged citizens to follow the 'Janta Curfew' - a curfew by the people and for the people - on Sunday from 7 AM to 9 PM to avoid mass gatherings in an attempt to contain the Coronavirus spread.
Reacting to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's proposal of voluntary curfew on March 22 and his request to people to come out on their rooftops and balconies etc at 5 p.m. on that day and clap or beat thalis to express gratitude for the people involved in providing essential services, Khurshid said,
"The growing awareness and the voluntary steps people are taking are to be encouraged and applauded. But perhaps it's a little bit excessive to be saying what the PM has said that we should come out and clap etc."
"This is a little uncalled for. But to the extent that we owe gratitude to the people who continue to provide essential services despite the danger that it poses to them, I think our gratitude should certainly be underscored and emphasised," he added.
Furthermore, Khurshid suggested that the government should postpone the National Population Register (NPR) and other such things "for three months" in the face of the coronavirus threat.He added that the governments should reach out to the protesters and ask them to take back their protests to avoid the risk of coronavirus transmission through large public gatherings.
However, the Congress party which had been critical of the PM over the absence of any action or preparedness to deal with the outbreak struck a reconciliatory tone following Modi’s call for 'Janta Curfew'. Former Finance minister P Chidambaram and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor voiced their support to the measures announced by the PM, but also expressed concern over the situation and stressed on the need to impose tougher measures in the coming weeks.
“I have offered our support to the PM’s announcements yesterday, but I am absolutely certain that the PM will have no option but to come back with tougher social and economic measures,” Chidambaram said in a series of tweets, adding that “a temporary lockdown of towns and cities for 2-4 weeks is necessary.''
The Prime Minister stated that people should stay in their homes on March 22 while the 'Janta Curfew' is in place and avoid going out unless extremely important. PM Modi added that the Janta Curfew will help us prepare for the upcoming challenges.