Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday hit out at Opposition parties for criticising the Centre’s handling of the coronavirus crisis and asked them what they had done to provide relief to the public. Shah made the remark while addressing Bharatiya Janata Party workers in Odisha via videoconference.
“Some leaders from Opposition parties keep asking us [the Centre] questions,” Shah said during his online address. “I want to ask them what they have done apart from talking about what people in Sweden and the United States are doing. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, meanwhile, gave Rs 1.7 lakh crore to help the vulnerable sections.”
Shah also said that Modi’s call for a “janata curfew”, or people’s curfew, received an overwhelming response from the people and that it was the reason for India’s success in controlling the coronavirus. “The government fought along with 130 crore Indians,” Shah said. “This is exactly why we are one of the better performers globally. On Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal, 130 crore people stayed indoors.”
The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 2.56 lakh on Monday and the toll went up to 7,200. India is now the fifth worst-affected country in world, and has overtaken Italy and Spain’s overall case count. In spite of the spurt in coronavirus cases, restaurants, malls and places of worship reopened in most parts of India on Monday.
The Union home minister also spoke about the migrant workers’ crisis, over which the Centre has been fiercely criticised. “We all feel sad to see migrant workers suffering,” he said. “Their safety is our priority.”
At the virtual rally, Shah repeated that India would act strongly against any external aggression and intrusion. “Under PM Modi’s leadership, any intrusion into the Indian territory will be punished,” he said. “Some people said that only US and Israel were capable of avenging every drop of the blood of their soldiers but Modiji has added India to that list.”
Shah had made the same remark during an online address to the people of Bihar on Sunday. Earlier in the day, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had mocked Shah for his remark and said that everyone knew the “reality of the situation”.
The Union minister’s remark came at a time when tensions between India and China are at an all-time high over the border standoff in eastern Ladakh. On Saturday, the two sides held high-level military talks in order to resolve the matter.