Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday responded to an anonymous poster urging people to give him a standing ovation from their balconies on Sunday for India’s efforts to contain Covid-19. The prime minister said that the poster, which has been widely shared on social media, “seems like mischief”.
The poster reads: “This man [Modi] has done so much for us and our nation. This Sunday on 12th April 2020 at 5 pm. Let us give a standing ovation and salute our Prime Minister. Everyone is requested to stand in their house balconies at 5 pm and give a standing ovation and salute our Prime Minister Mr Narendra Damodardasji Modi for 5 minutes”
The prime minister noted on Twitter that he was made aware of the viral poster. “It has been brought to my notice that some people are running a campaign and asking citizens to give me a standing ovation,” Modi wrote in Hindi. “It seems like a mischief to drag me into controversy.”
The prime minister went on to say that citizens must help the poor amid the coronavirus pandemic if they wish to honour him. “It is my request that if you want to honour Modi, then take the responsibility of supporting one poor family, at least until the coronavirus crisis is over,” he said. “There can’t be a bigger honour for me than this.”
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Prasar Bharti questioned the origins of the viral poster, and asked people to not pay heed to it. “The origins of this poster which is doing rounds in some social media circuits is questionable and suspect,” a tweet from Prasar Bharti read.
Beginning with the ‘janata curfew’ last month, Modi has urged citizens to show solidarity with India’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic on Sundays. Last week, people across the country switched off lights in their homes for nine minutes and lit candles and earthen lamps on the prime minister’s appeal.
The number of coronavirus cases in India have risen to 5,274 and 149 people have died, according to the Union health ministry. At an all-party meeting on Wednesday, the prime minister hinted that the lockdown to control the coronavirus pandemic may have to be extended beyond April 14. State governments have also called for an extension of the lockdown.