P Chidambaram, Union Budget, Lok Sabha
(file photo)

Dear Modi, we will light lamps, in return please listen to economists: PC

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new challenge to “fight the darkness of coronavirus” through lamps and flash lights has not gone well with senior Congress leaders.

Reacting to Modi’s appeal to citizens to switch off lights for nine minutes on April 5 in a gesture of solidarity towards the nation’s fight against COVID-19, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram asked him also to listen to people and announce measures to arrest the economic slide caused by the pandemic.

“Dear @narendramodi, 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. Every working man and woman, from business person to daily wage earner, also expected you to announce steps to arrest the economic slide and re-start the engines of economic growth,” Chidambaram wrote on Twitter.

He also said that symbolism is important, but serious thought to ideas and measures is equally important.

Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram Shashi Tharoor too condemned the prime minister’s latest public appeal.

“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 Prime Minister,” Tharoor tweeted.

In his second address post ‘Janata curfew’, Modi in a 11-minute long video message on Friday (April 3) urged people to switch off lights at 9 pm on Sunday (April 5) and light a lamp or torches in a gesture of solidarity.

He also appreciated the discipline shown by people in making the 21-day lockdown a success and gave a pep talk to people, urging them to keep fighting the deadly virus.

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