Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing solidarity with him while highlighting the plight of the poor due to the three-week lockdown and urging for a different approach.
Expressing solidarity to the PM at the time of "immense humanitarian crisis", Gandhi urged him to consider "the potentially devastating impact a nationwide lockdown would have on our people, our society and our economy."
"The number of poor people in India who are dependent on a daily income is simply too large for us to unilaterally shut down all economic activity," he said underlining that India's conditions were unique compared to other large countries in the world.
He said "the sudden lockdown has created immense panic and confusion" leading to the large number of migrant workers trying to go back home.
"The consequences of a complete shut down will disastrously amplify the death toll arising from the Covid-19 virus," he added.
Gandhi urged PM Modi to strengthen the social safety net and use public resources to support and shelter the poor workers. He also called for speedy implementation of the financial packaged announced by the government while lauding the effort as "a good first step".
He also suggested setting up a "defensive wall" around key financial and strategic institutions from the impact of the virus and the economic shutdown.