If lockdown not solution, then why Cong ruled states extended it first: BJP

A woman walks past closed shops at Janpath market, during a nationwide lockdown in the wake of coronavirus pandemic in New Delhi. Photo: PTI
The  Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday asked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to explain why his party-ruled states were in lockdowns if he believes the measure is just a "pause button" against the disease.

Congress-ruled Punjab extended the lockdown till the end of April and in Maharasthra, where the party is part of an alliance government, did that next.

"Lockdown is not the solution acc to @RahulGandhi ... Then why did the CMs of @INCIndia Cong partnered govts extend the lockdown first ...? (sic)," BJP general secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh tweeted.

Maharashtra, where the Congress is part of the government, has backed lockdown, with the state dispensation extending it to April 30 before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement on April 14 to stretch it nation-wide till May 3. Punjab, where the Congress is in power, had also extended the lockdown before Modi's announcement.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi earlier strongly pitched for aggressively expanding coronavirus testing across the country and adopting it as a "strategic" instrument to "defeat" the pandemic. He said the lockdown is not a solution to the pandemic, and the time must be utilised to significantly bolster the existing medical infrastructure as well as take steps to deal with the worrying economic fallout. He further asked that states be given more power in the battle against the deadly illness, adding that a "blunt instrument" should not be used and what is needed is a "nuanced" and strategic approach.

Addressing a press conference via video conference, Gandhi also said the entire country has to fight the crisis "unitedly".

From its Twitter handle, the BJP also put out data to assert that India has managed to "significantly contain" COVID-19 as compared to other severely hit countries, at just nine cases per one million of population and 0.3 deaths per one million population.

The nationwide lockdown was extended till May 3 after the announcement by the PM as states called for the extension to check the rapid spread of the viral infection which has claimed over 300 lives in India. 

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