Opposition parties want Prime Minister Narendra Modi to have dialogue with them about the measures to tackle the coronavirus outbreak and also "activate" parliamentary standing committees, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said on Friday.
In a series of tweets after a video conference of leaders of 22 opposition parties, Pawar said they believed that this was not the time for "showmanship or oneupmanship".
"We have decided to appeal to the@PMOIndia to immediately reach out to, and engage in a dialogue with all political parties in a systematic manner, listen seriously to the suggestions that we have to make...refrain from using the crisis for personal political gain, activate Parliamentary institutions like Standing Committees and be genuine in helping the states financially and otherwise," Pawar said.
"The like-minded political parties are collectively going to raise a 10-point demand to the Central Government to implement immediately," he added. During the meeting, he called for consultations with industrialists and experts to increase imports, exports and inland shipping, the NCP chief said.
"New policies for encouraging industrial growth should be incorporated to attract new investment in the states. To increase imports, exports and inland shipping, consultations should be held with industrialists, entrepreneurs and expert officials in the field," he said.
State governments are relaxing lockdown norms but factories can not easily resume operations as workers have left for their homes, Pawar pointed out, calling for a strategy to bring them back. Lockdown has disrupted transport services, and steps should be taken to gradually restore road transport within the states and plan resumption of air and rail service, he said.
"The number of students will decline for the next academic year due to Covid-19 lockdown. Some educational institutions are likely to collapse or close down due to financial losses. A study group or committee should be appointed to take timely measures," the former Union minister said.
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and CPI's D Raja were among those who took part in the meeting.
(Photo credit: PTI)