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Oppn disconnected from people, doing negative politics: Javadekar

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Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Accusing the opposition of "double speak", the BJP on Friday slammed it as well as Congress president Sonia Gandhi for their criticism of the Narendra Modi government over its handling of the coronavirus crisis, saying they have become "disconnected" from people and "speaking out of frustration".

Senior BJP leader and Union minister Prakash Javadekar alleged the opposition was doing negative when it should have projected a united face in combating COVID-19.

"The opposition is displaying negative It is indulging in hypocrisy and double speak. These parties earlier asked why the lockdown was not being extended and now they are asking why you are doing so," he told reporters.

Non-BJP ruled states like West Bengal first did not use Shramik trains as much as they should have and now the Congress is doing by sending very few buses, he said, in an apparent reference to the opposition party's proposal to send buses to Uttar Pradesh to ferry migrants.

Hitting out at Sonia Gandhi for her criticism of the government' Rs 20 lakh crore economic package, Javadekar said the Centre had earlier given Rs 1.70 lakh crore cash to the poor and has also hiked the MNREGA budget to over Rs 1 lakh crore.

"These parties have become disconnected with people and are speaking out of frustration. People are very much with Prime Minister Narendra Modi whose efforts to combat the coronavirus has drawn accolades from world leaders. The situation in India is much better for a country of its population," he said.

BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao also hit back at the Congress after Sonia Gandhi slammed the government, claiming that it has abandoned any pretence of being democratic and forgotten the spirit of federalism.

He accused the Congress of playing "cynical" politics over the COVID-19 crisis and said its president Sonia Gandhi and her "family" have "indulged in drama" at the time of a national catastrophe.

The government's Rs 20 lakh crore package and its details have turned to be a "cruel joke" on the country, Gandhi said at a meeting of opposition parties.

Hitting back, the BJP said it is the Congress president and her daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra who have "played cruel jokes and cynical politics on migrant workers".

"They did nothing for migrant workers except the mother-daughter duo making some grand announcements. Except indulging in drama and petty politics at a time of national crisis, Sonia and her family did nothing to contribute to nation's united fight against the pandemic," Rao said in a statement.

"Never before have a principal opposition party indulged in such cynical politics and the Congress will pay a political price for playing negative politics," the Rajya Sabha MP claimed.

Congress-ruled state governments have shown utter lack of sensitivity towards the migrants and refused to allow their own citizens to use Shramik special trains, he alleged.

"The whole world is appreciative of our handling of the COVID-19 crisis and the lockdown strategy in controlling the spread of the pandemic in India. Sonia Gandhi is perhaps regretting why India didn't turn out to be like her native Italy," Rao said.

Only today, he noted, a study by the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) showed how India averted 20 lakh cases and up to 78,000 deaths by imposing the lockdown timely and implementing it effectively.

Every relaxation, like inter-state travel of migrants on Shramik special trains or of bringing home Indians stranded abroad by Vande Bharat evacuation flights, has been allowed with elaborate Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), to be strictly followed by all state governments, Rao said.

The strategy to exit the lockdown has been designed in a very thoughtful and systematic manner, he added.

The BJP leader said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership in successfully controlling the COVID-19 challenge has been praised by world leaders.

"The Gandhi family is unable to digest the fact that PM Modi has emerged as truly a global leader and his image has surpassed that of every leader from its dynasty," he claimed.

Addressing a meeting of 22 opposition parties convened through video-conferencing to discuss the situation arising out of the coronavirus pandemic, Sonia Gandhi alleged that the government is uncertain about the criteria for enforcing lockdowns and has no exit strategy it.

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

First Published: Fri, May 22 2020. 21:12 IST
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