Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: The focus of the Centre should be to feed the hungry so that they can tide through the tough situation arising out of the coronavirus pandemic in the country, said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi while addressing regional media on Saturday.

Responding to a question by OTV News Editor Radhamadhab Mishra on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call ‘Vocal For Local’, Gandhi said, “There can be talks over local-vocal, but most importantly people need money in their pockets. There is an urgent need to support the people.”

Gandhi further stated that there will be a lot of opportunities for growth and development after Corona crisis gets over but today the reality is that we need to fight the virus.

When asked whether there are any lapses in aggressive testing, Rahul Gandhi stated that we should look forward and address basic issues of the country.

“Restarting economy, creating demand and providing comfort to labourers/ migrants and assure them that they can return back to cities without any fear,” said Gandhi.

Reiterating his earlier comments, the former Congress president said that the lockdown is only a pause button and fight back against the virus has to be transitional with utmost care to be taken of people who are most vulnerable.

Gandhi said that NYAY Yojana (minimum income guarantee scheme) could be implemented for a temporary period which would help in increasing the demand side and help the people in distress.

The Finance Minister has announced three tranches of the Rs 20 lakh crore relief package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make the country self-reliant (Atmanirbhar) and help mitigate financial woes caused due to the prolonged lockdown.

“Modi Ji should think about direct cash transfer, 200 working days under MNREGA, money for farmers etc. because all of them are the future of India," Rahul Gandhi said.

"The need of the hour is to give money to people directly into their pockets and people do not require loans at this moment," he added.

(Edited By: Suryakant Jena With Agency Inputs)

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