Addressing a press conference through video conference, he said, "the lockdown
is not an on/off switch and it is a transition which requires the cooperation of all - Centre, states, district magistrates and the people of India."
To address the ongoing migrant crisis, "the government needs to inject money in the bank accounts of India's poor households... it is going to cost around Rs 65,000 crore. It will transform how people are thinking" Gandhi said. "We are in an emergency and idea of injecting a sum of Rs 7500 directly into hands of poor is critical," he added.
The Congress leader also called upon the prime minister to devolve power and take the states and district magistrates into confidence.
"We need to decentralise power in dealing with the virus. If we keep this fight only in PMO, we will lose. The PM must devolve power. If we centralise, there will be a calamity. PM has to trust chief ministers and chief ministers have to trust district magistrates," he said.
We are in an emergency and idea of injecting a sum of Rs 7500 directly into hands of poor is critical: Rahul Gandhi
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) May 8, 2020
"There is a strong feeling that we need to immediately release packages to the MSMEs, give money in the hands of the poor and have a strategy for the migrants besides preparing for the opening of the lockdown," he said.
Gandhi also called upon the government to tell the people what criteria it would use to open the lockdown
or continue it post-May 17.