Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Thursday that Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi's remarks regarding the nationwide lockdown, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is 'regrettable and painful'. He asserted that this is not the time to create political divide, but to unite with determination, in the nations fight against COVID-19.
"India is fighting a courageous battle against COVID-19 under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The entire country despite difficulties, whole-heartedly welcomed the PM's decision for lockdown. At the time when the country is showing such unity, it is shocking to see Sonia Gandhi raising questions on the lockdown saying that the decision was 'unprepared'," Ravi shankar Prasad told ANI.
The Union Minister added that the need of the hour is to go beyond the political divide and manifest united determination. He appealed to the Congress leader to join the efforts of the government in combating COVID-19 and support its initiatives in providing relief to all the sections of the society in these unprecedented times.
"Congress raising questions on this life-saving initiative that was announced with due consultation of experts is not just regrettable but also painful. I urge Sonia Gandhi to set aside political divide and do something that seeks to bring political fissures in the common determination in this fight against COVID-19," Ravi Shankar Prasad added.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday criticised the government for "unplanned" implementation of the countrywide lockdown that she said had caused "chaos and pain" to millions of migrant workers.
Calling for the availability of all necessary equipment for medical professionals, she said the onus lies on the government to ensure that the spread of infection and casualties are not caused owing to lack of infrastructure or preparedness.
Addressing a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) through video conferencing, Gandhi said the country was in the midst of unprecedented health and humanitarian crisis which can be overcome only if everyone acts in solidarity. "The magnitude of the challenge is daunting but our resolve to overcome it must be greater," she said, calling upon Congress governments, frontal organisations, leaders and workers to offer help to those at risk during the pandemic.