Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday criticised the Centre for its management of the coronavirus crisis, saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to end the crisis in 21 days but instead finished off small businesses and the livelihoods of crores of people.

In his latest video message on Twitter, Gandhi accused the government of completely destroying the unorganised sector by imposing a nationwide lockdown to control the coronavirus in an “unplanned” manner.

“The poor and people engaged in small and medium businesses eat what they earn on a daily basis,” Gandhi said. “When you [Modi] announced a lockdown without a notice, you attacked them. The prime minister said the fight [against the coronavirus] will last 21 days. The backbone of the unorganised sector was broken in those 21 days. The promise was to end the crisis in that period but instead, crores of jobs and small enterprises were destroyed.”

The Congress leader added that after the demonetisation and the faulty implementation of the Goods and Services Tax, the lockdown was the third blow to the unorganised sector. Gandhi also said that lockdown severely affected India poor population and the youth.“The lockdown was an attack on the future of our youth, on small traders and farmers and not the coronavirus,” Gandhi. “We all have to unite against this attack.”

Gandhi also accused the Centre of not paying heed to the Congress’s advice to provide direct cash transfers to the poor along the lines of the Nyuntam Aay Yojana or NYAY scheme. “We also suggested a Rs 1 lakh crore package to save small and medium industries but the government did nothing,” he said. “Instead, the government waived-off taxes amounting to crores of the richest 15 to 20 people.”

The Congress leader has been consistently criticising the Centre over the coronavirus crisis and the sinking economy. On Tuesday, Gandhi had flagged dismal coronavirus figures and accused the government of “grossly mismanaging” the crisis. “Due to Modi government’s gross mismanagement of Covid: India’s total cases world’s second highest, India’s weekend tally higher than US and Brazil put together,” he tweeted. “On Sunday, India’s share was 40% of total cases worldwide and no flattening of curve. Stay safe everyone.”

Also read:

  1. GST means economic apocalypse,’ says Rahul Gandhi in latest attack on Centre
  2. Demonetisation broke unorganised economy, resulted in GDP decline, says Rahul Gandhi