The Bharatiya Janata Party was founded on 6th April, 1980. Now, 39 years later, the fact that India will be holding a candle-light vigil of sort on the eve of its foundation day is not sitting well with many.
"Has the PM slyly asked the nation to observe a candle light vigil on the eve of foundation day of BJP? April 6 being its foundation day, what else can explain the choice of date & time for this event?" wondered former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy in a Twitter post on Sunday.
"I challenge the PM to offer a credible scientific and rational explanation," he added.
The Janata Dal (Secular) leader said that the Prime Minister had not informed the country about steps that were being taken to combat the viral outbreak, but was giving the populace "meaningless tasks".
"The government is yet to provide PPEs for doctors and make test kits affordable for the common man," he said, adding that it was "shameful" to utilise the crisis for personal or political mileage.
"It is shameful to convert the national crisis into an event of self aggrandizement & it is beyond shameful to push the hidden agenda of his party in the face of global calamity. May sense prevail upon the PM," he wrote.
For the uninitiated, the Prime Minister had asked India to switch off the lights at their homes and light candles and diyas or switch on their mobile phone torches for nine minutes at 9 pm on Sunday. This is intended to be a symbolic gesture of the country's "collective resolve" to defeat the novel coronavirus.
In a stark contrast to Kumaraswamy's criticism, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has asked people to follow the Prime Minister's missive.
"I appeal to the people across the state to turn off lights and lit oil lamps or wax candles outside their home tonight (Sunday) at 9 pm for 9 minutes, as advised by Modi, to defeat the virus and banish darkness," IANS quoted Yediyurappa as saying in a statement in Bengaluru.