NEW DELHI: Slamming Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to the nation on Tuesday, CPM leader Brinda Karat terms extension of lockdown as "a cruel blow to the country".
In his address, the Prime Minister told the nation that while making new guidelines, the interest of the poor and daily wage workers have been kept in mind.
While speaking to ANI Karat said, "The Prime Minister's announcement of an extension of lockdown without any concrete relief is a cruel blow to the crores of daily-waged and self-employed workers without any means of survival. Free rations and cash transfers of at least rupees 7,500 into Jan Dhan and MNREGA accounts is essential."
Karat added, "The Government has to ensure no retrenchment and layoffs by guaranteeing wages of those employed instead of empty appeals to employers"
India will go for extended lockdown till May 3 while some relaxation has also been considered for places that will be declared hotspot-free after April 20.
The country had observed Janata Curfew on March 22 after the Prime Minister made an appeal through a video. It was soon followed by nationwide lockdown in a measure to curtail the spread of Coronavirus.
However, the lockdown forced many migrant labourers, daily wage earners to walk miles after miles to reach their home in different parts of the country.
India's total number of COVID-19 positive cases has risen to 10,363 with the death toll escalating to 339.