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Lockdown may be necessary but has caused pain to migrants: Sonia

The Congress has said the 21-day may have been necessary to control the spread of novel coronavirus but the unplanned manner in which the Centre implemented it has led to chaos and pain among migrant workers.

Addressing party leaders at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meet which met via video conferencing on Thursday, party interim president Sonia Gandhi said the unplanned lockdown has resulted in harassment of lakhs of migrants across the country. The 21-day lockdown was necessary but implemented in an unplanned manner. This unplanned lockdown has caused harassment of lakhs of migrant workers, Sonia Gandhi said.

Sonia Gandhi also called on the Modi government to provide protection equipment (PPE) to doctors, nurses and medical staff. The government must publish details of designated hospitals, number of beds, quarantine and testing facilities and medical supplies, Sonia Gandhi said.

Sonia Gandhi also stressed on the need to support agriculture sector which is suffering due to the lockdown. Ease restrictions on farmers for harvesting. Farmers must be provided fertilzers and pesticides and access to easy lines of credit, the Congress interim chief added. Sonia Gandhi also urged the Centre to prepare and publish a Common Minimum Relief Programme for the middle class.

During the CWC meet, Sonia Gandhi also called upon the Congress governments, frontal organisations, leaders and workers to offer help to those who are at extreme risk.

Rahul Gandhi, who also took part in the CWC on Thursday, hit out the Modi government over the exodus of migrants in the country. We have looked at COVID for two months since February and have spoken to experts. No country in the world has attempted a lockdown with huge migrant labor without arranging for their stay, food, and ration and pushing them back home, Rahul Gandhi said.

Priyanka Gandhi, who is also the in-charge for Uttar Pradesh, took on the Yogi Adityanath-led government, saying that the state has faced the maximum brunt of lockdown.

Instead of supporting those returning home, the police and administration in UP is thrashing them. People are now being quarantined in inhuman conditions and sprayed with insecticides, Priyanka Gandhi said as she urged for more testing for coronavirus.

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