The Congress leader, Mr. Rahul Gandhi, said on Friday that the government needs to tell the people about its strategy to open up the country as well as the economy after the Covid-19 lockdown ends on May 17.
'The government now has to give a little bit of transparency on its actions. We need to understand, when they open, what is the criteria for that, what are the boxes they want ticked off before they actually start to open,' Mr. Gandhi said at a digital press briefing.
'The lockdown is not a key, that you switch it on and it’s gone. It requires a number of things to happen. It requires a psychological change. The government needs to understand that it’s not an on-off switch,' he added.
The former Congress chief also talked about the coronavirus, which has triggered the nationwide lockdown. He said that barring a few categories of people, the disease is not dangerous.
'The disease is dangerous for a few categories of people. It is dangerous for old people, for those who have diabetes, hypertension etc. But other than that, it is not a dangerous disease. So we have to make a psychological change in the minds of the people. Currently, people are very scared. The government, if it wants to open up, will have to turn this fear into a sense of confidence,' Mr. Gandhi said.
He added that opening up has to be a transition. 'You need to have a strategy.'
Mr. Gandhi has been holding discussions with public intellectuals through video conferencing where he has been talking about Covid-19 and what India needs to do going forward. The former RBI Governor, Dr. Raghuram Rajan and the Nobel laureate, Pro. Abhijit Banerjee, were his first two guests.
Two days ago, the Congress president, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, had asked the Centre to spell out its strategy whether it will lift or continue with the nation-wide lockdown on May 17.
'What after May 17? What criteria is the government using to judge how long the lockdown will continue?' she had said in her opening remarks at a video-conferencing of the party's chief ministers and senior leaders.
Addressing the meeting, the former Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, said, 'We need to know, as Soniaji said, what will happen after the lockdown 3.0? Soniaji has already pointed out. CM’s need to deliberate and ask as to what is the strategy of Govt of India to get the country out of lockdown?'