New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today said that national lockdown is only a “pause button” against the coronavirus pandemic and the government must aggressively test people to contain the disease.
“Lockdown has not solved the problem but has postponed the situation instead. Therefore to continue the fight, give GST to States, discuss with the States. This direction is still needed. The speed with which the money should reach the States is not happening. The fight against Coronavirus is on two fronts – medical and economic.”
In response to his reaction on lockdown, BJP’s General Secretary BL Santosh tweeted, “Lockdown is not the solution according to Rahul Gandhi. Then why did the chief ministers of Congress-partnered governments extend the lockdown first?”
#LockDown is not the solution acc to @RahulGandhi … Then why did the CMs of @INCIndia Cong partnered govts extend the lock down first …?
— B L Santhosh (@blsanthosh) April 16, 2020
Santosh said in reference to Maharashtra, where Congress is an ally and Punjab, where it is in power outright, extended the lockdown before Centre formally announced it.
Rahul Gandhi during his video conferencing said, “Currently testing levels are too low. I am proposing scaling up testing. One advice to the government is, push testing aggressively. Maximise testing and use testing strategically, to assist states in their fight.”
This statement was also given a stern reply by the BJP.
“India has tested 2,74,599 samples till 9 pm on April 15,” a tweet on its official account said, adding, “This scale of testing at these stages is one of the largest, way more than tests conducted in the US, the UK and Italy”.
India has tested 2,74,599 samples till 9 pm on 15 April.
At the benchmarks of 5,000 and 10,000 cases, the number of tests were 114,015 and 217,554 respectively.
This scale of testing at these stages is one of the largest, way more than tests conducted in US, UK and Italy. pic.twitter.com/LG01VFr7JU
— BJP (@BJP4India) April 16, 2020
However, Gandhi said that though he may have differences in Centre’s decision, it is not the right time to disagree.
Gandhi told reporters that “I may disagree on a lot of issues with Narendra Modiji, but today is not a time to get into all this. Today is a time to unite and fight the common enemy”.