NEW DELHI: Congress leader P Chidambaram on Saturday said the government should take bold measures to put money in the hands of the poor and the vulnerable to save livelihood during the coronavirus lockdown.
He also welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remark, while interacting with chief ministers, that "both lives and livelihoods are important".
"I welcome the PM's announcement that both LIVES and LIVELIHOOD are important. I look forward to the government taking bold measures to put cash in the hands of the poor and the vulnerable. That will save livelihoods," he said on Twitter.
During the interaction via video conference, the prime minister underlined that the motto of the government earlier was 'jaan hai to jahaan hai' but now it is 'jaan bhi jahaan bhi'.
Ahead of Modi's meeting with chief ministers, Chidambaram had urged party-ruled chief ministers to unanimously demand transfer of cash to every poor family.
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He said the poor have lost their jobs and exhausted their savings and are now standing in lines to get free food.
Remonetising the poor would cost only Rs 65,000 crore, which was economically viable, he said.
"Chief Ministers - Amarinder Singh, Ashok Gehlot, Bhupesh Baghel, V Narayanasami, Uddhav Thackeray and E Palaniswani should tell the Prime Minister today that just as LIVES are important LIVELIHOOD of the poor is important.
"The poor have lost their jobs or self-employment in the last 18 days. They have exhausted their meagre savings. Many are standing in line for food," he said on Twitter.
"Can the State stand by and watch them go hungry," he asked, noting that CMs should demand that cash be transferred to every poor family immediately.
"'Remonetise the poor' should be their unanimous demand," Chidambaram said.