MUMBAI: NCP leader Supriya Sule on Tuesday urged the Centre and the Maharashtra government to initiate together the process of ease the lockdown in a phased manner in areas which are not or less affected by COVID-19, to bring the economy back on track.
Sule, the Lok Sabha member from Baramati in Maharashtra's Pune district, also said that it is her personal opinion and such a decision should not be taken in a hurry, but by adhering to social distancing norms with military-like discipline.
The current nationwide lockdown, imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus, will be in force till May 3.
"To restrict the movement of people is the easy part of the job. The Centre should give some guidelines on how to unlock," Sule said in her address via Facebook.
"The Centre and the state should start together the process of unlocking in phased manner to bring the economy back on track slowly. You (people) have to work as well as remain safe," she said.
Shopkeepers, industries, small and big businesses have been hit by the lockdown, the NCP leader said, and called for finding a way out to overcome the present situation.
"It is my personal opinion that unlocking begins slowly. Not for entertainment, but to bring the economy back on track by adhering to rules, norms, she said. The country needs us to work. Our problems cannot be addressed if we were to sit inside our homes being afraid (of the situation)," she said.
Sule said some countries and states witnessed a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases after the lockdown imposed there was lifted, and Maharashtra must not let such a situation arise when it is unlocked.
"Therefore, we must follow the unlocking plan Chief Minister (Uddhav Thackeray), Dada (Sule's cousin and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar) will give us with absolute discipline, like military discipline, she added.
The NCP leader urged people to observe the current lockdown strictly as a disciplined approach only will help unlock the state sooner.
Without naming any opposition party, Sule hit out at them for targeting the government at a time when it is engaged in the fight against coronavirus, and asked them to refrain from playing politics in the face of the common threat.
"Like the chief minister says, we should remain focussed. Let's not divert attention. Let those who want to criticise, criticise, she said. Sule also cautioned people against circulating rumours/fake news on social media.
She suggested the authorities concerned that providing ration kits to the needy is a better option than supplying them cooked meals.
Sule also asked students to use the lockdown period for studying ahead of their examinations, which have been postponed due to the lockdown.