NEW DELHI: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Friday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi's video message broadcast this morning, saying "symbolism" is important but serious thought to ideas and measures is equally important.
He said a generous livelihood support package for the poor and announcement of steps to arrest the economic slide were expected, but the people were disappointed on both counts.
"Dear (PM) Narendra Modi, We will listen to you and light diyas on April 5. But, in return, please listen to us and to the wise counsel of epidemiologists and economists," Chidambaram said.
आज हम आपसे जो उम्मीद करते थे, वह FAP II था, गरीबों के लिए एक उदार आजीविका सहायता पैकेज, जिसमें उन गरीबों की श्रेणियां भी शामिल थीं, जिन्हें 25-3-2020 को @nsitharaman द्वारा पूरी तरह से नजरअंदाज कर दिया गया था।— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) April 3, 2020
"What we expected from you today was FAP II, a generous livelihood support package for the poor, including for those categories of poor who were totally ignored by (Finance Minister) Nirmala Sitharaman on 25-3-2020," he said in a series of tweets.
The former finance minister said every working man and woman, from business person to daily wage earner, also expected the prime minister to announce steps to arrest the economic slide and re-start the engines of economic growth.
The people are disappointed on both counts, he said.
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"Symbolism is important, but serious thought to ideas and measures is equally important," Chidambaram said.
In a video message of over 11 minutes Friday morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to switch off the lights at their homes and light up lamps, candles or mobile phone torches for nine minutes at 9 pm on April 5 to display the country's "collective resolve" to defeat coronavirus.
Modi asked people to think about "Maa Bharati" (Mother India) and its 130 crore citizens with their combined resolve, saying this will give them the strength to fight and the confidence to win in this hour of crisis.