No Nation imposed lockdown without planning for migrant labourers: Rahul Gandhi

No Nation imposed lockdown without planning for migrant labourers: Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday took a dig at the BJP-led government over the way the lockdown was enforced, saying no country with such a huge number of migrant laborers has attempted it without arranging for their stay and food.

He said Congress needs to act as a watchdog to ensure that the poor and vulnerable sections were comprehensively protected in the wake of the crisis created by a coronavirus.

Addressing the Congress Working Committee (CWC) virtual meeting here to discuss the issues related to COVID-19, Gandhi said India has to fight the global pandemic with a country-specific strategy and it needs to prepare "for economic devastation".

"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 labour without arranging for their stay, food and ration and pushing them back home," Mr Gandhi said.

"Congress needs to act as a watchdog. We need to ensure that the most vulnerable and the poor are protected comprehensively. India has to fight COVID with an India- specific strategy and consultation. India needs to prepare for the economic devastation," he added.

Mr Gandhi's remarks at the meeting were tweeted by party leader Randeep Singh Surjewala.

He said Congress workers need to help people, soften the blow and assist them in every manner possible.

"Also, let's take the message that we need to take special care of our senior citizens and elders," he said.

Mr Gandhi said coronavirus particularly attacks aged persons, people with lung disease, diabetics, persons with heart disease and it makes them most vulnerable.

"All state governments need to issue a special advisory for these categories and take care," he said.

In his remarks, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Congress stands with the nation to meet the challenge of COVID-19.

The government announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown on March 24 to prevent the spread of coronavirus.