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Left parties question PM on delay in economic package for poor

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Left parties on Wednesday slammed the government over its "failure" to introduce "concrete measures" to deal with the coronavirus pandemic and questioned why an economic package had not yet been announced for the poor.

In an open letter to the Prime Minister, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said his government has taken no measures to assist poor migrants who are most hurt by the sudden lockdown and a large number of them are stranded without food or shelter.

"It is very disappointing that no concrete measures have been announced so far to provide relief to the poor and the needy, and to alleviate the suffering of those who need urgent help at this moment to survive the lockdown. #COVID2019

"How will they (migrants) reach safe spaces? How will they survive without money or food and with reports of police harassment too?," he said in the letter.

CPI general secretary D Raja said while he appreciated that it was difficult for the government to fight this epidemic, the lack of wide-scale testing could harm the country.

"Prime Minister has not announced any relief package for the poor and unemployed. With the total lockdown, the daily wage earners and the unemployed will not be able to have minimum essentials. Nutritious food is vital to increase immunity. India is already at 102nd position in World Hunger Index out of 117 countries.

"Moreover, the situation demands testing of Coronavirus widely across the country. Social or physical distancing is a major problem in India. Efforts must be made to improve hygiene and sanitation," he said.

The Left parties urged the centre to take lessons from the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government in Kerala which has announced massive aids for the poor.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 25 2020. 18:44 IST