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Most of us want lockdown to continue: Puducherry CM Narayanasamy after interaction with PM

The Puducherry CM said he and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar raised the issue of migrants.

Published: 27th April 2020 03:53 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th April 2020 04:16 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

NEW DELHI: A majority of the chief ministers who interacted with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday wanted the lockdown to continue after May 3 and asked him to adopt a cautious approach while opening it, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy said.

The chief ministers were unanimous in telling the prime minister that the way the coronavirus is spreading, a "cautious approach" is needed while lifting the lockdown, which they said should continue, but economic activity should also start slowly, Narayanasamy, who participated in the meeting through video-conferencing, said.

"Most chief ministers told the prime minister that the lockdown should continue and that some economic activity should be started slowly.

"The chief ministers were unanimous in telling the prime minister that the way the coronavirus is spreading in the country and cases are rising, there should be a cautious approach in opening the lockdown, and the prime minister should take a call on what needs to be done," he said at a press briefing through a video-conference.

Modi held a video-conference with the chief ministers of various states and Union territories on Monday to discuss the situation arising in the country due to COVID-19.

As many as nine chief ministers made presentations at the meeting, including Narayanasamy, his Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik and Bihar's Nitish Kumar.

The chief ministers of Meghalaya, Mizoram, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat and Haryana also made presentations at the meeting.

They said the government should evolve a policy for sending home the migrant workers stranded across the country due to the lockdown.

"The prime minister mentioned about migrant labourers, but he did not give any solution to resolve the issue," Narayanasamy said.

He added that Kumar raised the issue of migrants facing problems at many places.

Narayanasamy said the chief ministers demanded that the Centre announce a stimulus package on the lines of the one announced by the UPA government in 2008 for revival of the economy.

Asked if Modi gave any assurance on either the lifting of the lockdown or the economic package that the states are demanding, the Congress leader said, "The prime minister did not give any assurance about the package.

" Narayanasamy added that the chief ministers who spoke at the meeting left it to the Centre to take a decision on lifting the lockdown.

The Puducherry chief minister said he also raised the issue of Indian tourists and students stranded abroad, and urged the government to take steps to bring them back, as they were facing problems in foreign countries.

He said the prime minister talked about the steps taken by the government to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Narayanasamy said Modi lauded Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot for taking steps to curb the spread of COVID-19 in his state and also mentioned the work done by the chief ministers of Odisha and Bihar in containing the disease.

The government earlier made a presentation on how India has been able to contain the spread of COVID-19, with only 786 deaths so far as against the large number of fatalities in many countries.

Narayanasamy said the Centre claimed that the rate of the infection is only one per cent in India, which is much lower compared to many other countries.

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