Modi interacts with political leaders as buzz to extend lockdown grows

PM Modi during his interaction with opposition leaders. ANI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday interacted with floor leaders of political parties to discuss the coronavirus pandemic and the three-week shutdown of the country to prevent the disease from spreading.

Conducted via video-conferencing, the meeting holds significance as several states have said the lockdown should be extended after April 14. 

While the details of the meeting are yet to be released, the leaders are expected to have discussed the ongoing economic slowdown and the growing unemployment triggered by the migration of workers across the country. This is the first such interaction of the opposition leaders with the PM since the announcement of the mandatory shutdown. 

The meeting took place days after the government announced a 30 per cent salary cut for parliamentarians and transferring of MPLADS fund to the consolidated fund of India for a period of two years to combat coronavirus. Several opposition leaders had welcomed the decision to slash salaries but criticised the decision to forego the constituency development funds. 

Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Thawar Chand Gehlot, Pralhad Joshi, Nirmala Sitharaman among others were present on behalf of the government along with PM Modi in the video conference. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacts with chief ministers via videoconferencing to discuss ways to check the spread of coronavirus.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, Trinamool Congress’ Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut, Biju Janta Dal’s Pinaki Misra, Nationalist Congress Party’s Sharad Pawar, Samajwadi Party’s Ram Gopal Yadav, Shiromani Akali Dal’s Sukhbir Singh Badal, Bahujan Samaj Party ‘s SC Mishra, YSR Congres Party’s Vijay Sai Reddy & Mithun Reddy, Janta Dal United’s Rajeev Ranjan Singh were among the leaders who attended the video conference on Wednesday.

The prime minister has been interacting with various stakeholders, including doctors, journalists, and heads of Indian missions to get feedback on ways to check the spread of coronavirus. He also recently spoke to various leaders including Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, TMC leader Mamata Banerjee, DMK leader MK Stalin and discussed the COVID-19 situation as well as his government's efforts to contain the spread of the pandemic.

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel