Amid the coronavirus pandemic Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addressed the regional media across India via a video conference on Saturday at 12 pm.
Similarly, on May 8th, Gandhi had addressed the media and said that "what government needs to do now is, give a little bit of transparency on its actions. We need to understand when they open the coronavirus lockdown what will be the criteria for its opening."
Speaking about PM Modi's announcement of economic package worth Rs 20 lakh crore, Rahul Gandhi said, "The entire country is going through tough times. Many people are on the streets. Today, I'm speaking as a citizen and not as a politician. The package should be for the migrant workers. I urge the PM to reconsider the package and look at direct transfer to the migrant workers and farmers."
"Today our people need money. PM should reconsider this package. Modi ji should think about direct cash transfer, 200 working days under MNREGA, money for farmers etc. because all of them are the future of India," Rahul Gandhi said.
"The need of the hour is to give money to people directly into their pockets and people do not require loans at this moment," he added.
Rahul Gandhi said, "when children are hit, mother doesn't give them loan, but gives direct relief, the need of the hour is not loan package but money should be put in the pockets of the people."
He adds, "People don't care about the country's ratings. Now we need to look at people; our migrant workers and farmers. Once the government makes direct transfer, these people will start working immediately."
"Today our poor people need money, I am requesting Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he should reconsider this package. He should consider direct bank transfer, MGNREGA for 200 days & money to farmers directly, as these people are our future," Gandhi said.
The government should have faith in these people. If these people don't get money immediately, the businesses will not start and the economy will in turn be at a standstill, he said.
"The storm has not come yet, it is coming and will cause big economic damage and hurt many," Gandhi opines.
Speaking about the numerous accidents killing several migrant labourers, he said, "I offer my condolences to all the families of people who have died in the accidents."
Upon being asked who is responsible for the death of the migrant workers on the road, Gandhi said that this is not the right time to point anyone or blame anyone responsible. "All I want to say is that the BJP is in power and they have work for these people. Even the opposition is responsible to work for these people. We all need to work together for these people."
"Our people are in pain and it our duty to protect and help them. I think it is fundamental to transfer money directly into their accounts. This is the most difficult time they are going through and we need to hold their hands," he adds.
"I am trying to put pressure on govt to create demand by putting money in accounts of poor," he says.
He further said that as far as the lockdown is concerned, we have to open it wisely. This is not an event but a process. During this time, we have to take special care of the sick people and the elderly.
Addressing the plight of people who are at high-risk to this disease, Gandhi said that we have to look at what to do for the people who have heart disease, kidney disease and other ailments. "We need to protect all these people at any cost," he adds.
Upon being asked what is the action plan of the Congress party to help the migrant labourers, Gandhi said that,"We have been directly transferring to people in our states."
Rahul Gandhi has earlier conversed with former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajaram and Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee regarding the fallout of the economy due the coronavirus pandemic. Speaking about his conversation, he said that he wants people to know what is happening in the country and "I want our conversation to come out of the room and reach people."
Gandhi said, "We had advised the government to implement the NYAAY scheme for the poor at least temporarily to aid the poor.These people need immediate aid."
Moreover, if we lift the lockdown without thinking it through, the country will face more problems, he adds.
He also hailed Kerala government and said that the state's success against coronavirus is tremendous success of all Keralites and it is an example for others.
Further, he thanked the media to bring all the issues of migrant workers, farmers and others in light amid these difficult times.