- Shashi Tharoor was among the first leaders to criticise PM Modi
- Trinamool ‘s Mahua Moitra called for a fiscal package to protect poor
- PM “hand-holding countrymen” like a guardian: BJP leader BL Santhosh
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to light candles on Sunday, 9 pm, to fight the darkness of coronavirus today drew instant reactions from opposition leaders, who accused him of empty symbolism and “curating a feel-good moment” without announcing concrete economic measures.
“On this Sunday, April 5, we will challenge the darkness of coronavirus together. On April 5, at 9 pm, I need you to spare 9 minutes. At 9 pm, turn off all the lights in your houses and light a Diya, candle, torch or flashlight for 9 minutes at your doors, or balcony,” PM Modi said in a video message this morning.
Among the first to tweet their response was Congress MP Shashi Tharoor.
“Listened to the Pradhan Showman. Nothing about how to ease people’s pain, their burdens, their financial anxieties. No vision of the future or sharing the issues he is weighing in deciding about the post-lockdown. Just a feel-good moment curated by India’s Photo-Op PrimeMinister!” – tweeted Mr Tharoor.
Listened to the Pradhan Showman. Nothing about how to ease people’s pain, their burdens, their financial anxieties. No vision of the future or sharing the issues he is weighing in deciding about the post-lockdown. Just a feel-good moment curated by India’s Photo-Op PrimeMinister!
– Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) April 3, 2020
“Get real,” raged Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra, calling for a fiscal package to protect poor workers and a stop to “gagging real press”.
Turn out lights & come on balconies?
GET REAL MR. MODI!
Give India fiscal pkg worth 8-10pc of GDP
Ensure immediate wages to construction & other labour during lockdown- laws exist permitting this
Stop gagging real press in name of curbing fake news
– Mahua Moitra (@MahuaMoitra) April 3, 2020
Congress leader and former union minister P Chidambaram, in a series of tweets, called for steps to boost growth and said “serious thought to ideas and measures” was as important as symbolism.
We will listen to you and light diyas on April 5. But, in return, please listen to us and to the wise counsel of epidemiologists and economists.
– P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) April 3, 2020
This is the second collective gesture that PM Modi has called for since his March 22 Janata Curfew, when millions came out to their balconies, doorsteps and windows and clapped and clanged utensils to applaud those at the frontline of the fight against coronavirus, like doctors, nurses and civic staff.
BJP leader BL Santhosh slammed the criticism, saying PM Modi was “instilling confidence and hand-holding countrymen” like a guardian.
“Usual suspects are disappointed by PM’s message .They want facts, figures and new policies. They are the same people who can’t manage the single kid they have or the pet without a maid . He has to manage a country of 130 crore people and most disruptive liberal ecosystem,” Mr Santhosh tweeted.